PublishedThu, 21 Sep 2017, 18:04
- "This risk assessment shouldn't compromise the capital's vibrant grassroots music industry or unfairly target one community or music genre," the London mayor has said.
The London mayor Sadiq Khan has ordered a review into a Metropolitan Police risk assessment that has been accused of disproportionately targeting grime events in the capital.
A range of DJs, promoters, venue representatives and industry bodies attended a meeting earlier this week, convened by the capital's Night Czar, Amy Lamé, to discuss the Metropolitan Police's Promotion Event Risk Assessment Form 696 (or Form 696) and its impact on London's nightlife. The review, which is now underway, will assess how the Met's risk assessment process impacts events in the capital, particularly on specific venues and communities. Kwame Safo, AKA Funk Butcher, one of the DJs who attended the meeting, said: "696 has always felt punitive for certain parts of the capital's music community. This discussion will be a step in the right direction to redressing the grievances held by the music professionals whilst protecting the safety of the ravers we service."
Form 696 asks venue managers to specify details of events featuring MCs and DJs, including the names, stage aliases, addresses and phone numbers of artists and promoters. There is no equivalent for live music events. Speaking to the BBC earlier this year, P Money suggested the form was a device used to racially profile gigs and club nights. In March, Tory MP Matt Hancock expressed concerns to the mayor over the form's disproportionate focus on "urban music events." There has been longstanding concern among grime artists over the police's role in the cancellation of gigs.
"The safety of Londoners is my number one priority," said Mr Khan. "It's vital that live music events can take place safely and that the Met can help venues to lessen the risk of violent behaviour. This risk assessment shouldn't compromise the capital's vibrant grassroots music industry or unfairly target one community or music genre, which is why the Met is reviewing their Form 696 process, working together with London's promoters, venues and artists to develop a system that makes sure London's legendary music scene thrives whilst keeping Londoners safe."
Superintendent Roy Smith of the Metropolitan Police said: "The use of the Form 696 enables us to provide advice and guidance on the risk posed by an event and suggest measures which can be taken to manage those risks. It is important to note that so far in 2017 no events have been cancelled at the request of the police following the submission of a Form 696. We welcome the opportunity to work with the music industry and colleagues at the Mayor's office to review the Form 696 process and ensure that it remains fit for purpose and to listen to any concerns which are raised."
The review is expected to be complete by early next year, with its findings to be implemented shortly after.