Form 696 has been reviewed since 2009, but today grime artists are feeling targeted.
The new form has added the two questions which were removed from the original Met Police form. This was because they originally raised some complaints about its profiling of certain groups.
The inclusion of these original questions is clearly controversial – in some quarters considered a way for police to target certain events through racial profiling and singling out musical genres.
Police say 696 is a way of increasing security, reducing crime and encouraging promoters and venues to provide more information for better and more up-to-date information. However, artist such as Giggs and P Money believe it’s an easier way for police to target grime performances and ethnic minority events.
Both Giggs and P Money have faced cancellations due to 696 reporting and subsequent police advice. They are both unconvinced of the “mutual benefits” the police claim the form offers.
Black UK Artists and Black Music Promoters in 2017.
Looking forward the alterations on the new form could be really damaging for Black UK artists and promoters as the information put on these forms have been used in the past to cancel gigs and events due to risk of it causing disorder, but it is also passed on to the police forces who can then circulate the information to other regions. In the past, this has led to the last-minute cancellation of grime events and promoters facing untold audience and ticketing issues.
Leicestershire Police’s 696 form includes questions about the ethnicity of audience attendees and the genre of music being played at events. Both artist and promoters are anxious the form will increase cancellations and racial profiling.
Adam Webb from AL1 Comms comment;
He said: “Form 696 has been under scrutiny for some time and something I worked on with UK Music over 5 years ago. The original wording of the document was, in my opinion, blatantly discriminatory – and although that wording has changed over time, the intent behind the use of the form has remained constant.
In short: it’s aimed specifically at genres like grime, and on events that might attract a largely non-white audience.
I’ve never seen any evidence that links a specific musical genre to disorder or violence. Or how making DJs and MCs provide the Met Police with their personal details in advance of an event might prevent criminal activity.
It’s therefore quite right for Government to raise this issue with the Mayor, and hopefully something he can deal with and finally put to bed.
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Do you think it’s discriminatory against certain forms of music or holding back genres like grime?