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Robbery isn’t colour-blind

Muhammed Rafique Khan was knifed through the heart on 6 January outside his menswear shop in Plumstead High Street, south-east London. It was 10 minutes till closing when a 30-year-old white man ran into the shop. What happened inside is not exactly known. But witnesses at a nearby bus stop heard an altercation and saw

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Prisoner left hanging

The vexed question of the privatisation of the British prison service has again come to the fore following the death of Peter Austin at Brentford magistrates’ court on 29 January. Disturbing evidence emerged at the inquest held in July, where the verdict was accidental death aggravated by lack of care by the guards. Securicor staff

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Law, order and the politics of convergence

On the street Police stop and search powers have been described by a senior policeman as ‘a contact sport for officers’. They have featured centrally in complaints of police racism. It was a vast stop and search operation, Operation Swamp ’81, which sparked the Brixton uprising of that year. Even the City of London ‘ring

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From refugee to terrorist

In April, a huge police operation, with marksmen and helicopters, was launched to raid a Kurdish community centre in Haringey, north London. Inside, embarrassed police found a Kurdish group rehearsing a Harold Pinter play about repression of Kurds. Someone had seen hooded armed men going into the community centre and the police, forgetting the advance

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Deadly silence: black deaths in custody (introduction)

One death is a death too many. Too many of us* have died without cause, since first we came to work for this country in the post-war years, in the custody of the police, the prison system and the special hospitals. Or if cause there be, common to all three, it is the racist bias

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