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Police deny racial profiling

Police defend their use of stop and search powers

Surry Police defended yesterday a controversial stop-and-search operation at Royal Holloway University that has been condemned by student leaders.

The force sent around 20 uniformed and undercover cops to search people for drugs as they entered the Students' Union on Friday night.

And University of London vice-president Daniel Cooper was arrested after challenging officers over what he called the "racial profiling" of students.

The Students' Union said the "excessive" police presence was "intimidating" and have launched an investigation into allegations of racial profiling.

But Surrey Police hit back at those claims in a statement issued to the Morning Star.

It said: "The use of stop and search is an important and effective tactic in the prevention and detection of crime.

"The powers must be used lawfully and fairly in a non-discriminatory way and random sampling is conducted periodically to ensure that this is the case.

"The force refutes any suggestion that such searches carried out during Friday's operation were in any way a result of 'profiling'."

Surrey Police revealed that another 19 year-old man was arrested on suspicion of possessing an offensive weapon.

No drugs were found during the search and yesterday around 30 students launched a campaign to "keep cops off campus" apart from in emergencies.

Anti-Cuts Alliance spokesman Elliott Dugdale said that among the students "there are concerns about the use of racial profiling."

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