Write to your local MP and Councillors to raise this issue with them!
Go to writetothem.com, type in your postcode and click on the name of your MP or Councillors. You can write your own message or use the Template Letter provided here below!
Dear [MP name],
I am gravely concerned about the news that police officers have started to use mobile fingerprint scanners linked to the Home Office immigration database.
With the use of this new technology, which has been in use since February 2018, any officer is able to scan someone’s fingerprints off the street and check their immigration status against the Home Office’s records. As what happened with the Windrush scandal has shown us, the Home Office’s data is often inaccurate and I am afraid this will lead to many more innocent people being unjustly detained and deported.
Under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984, officers can use this technology any time they suspect someone is committing an offence and they doubt their identity, without that person’s consent. The decision to carry out a search will be entirely up to the officer’s judgement, which is vulnerable to bias and likely to result in Black, Brown and Trans people being disproportionately targeted.
The role of the police should be to protect and safeguard our communities, not to be border guards. I am very concerned that this move will lead to fewer crimes being reported in the long run, as people become afraid to go to the police in case they get reported to the Home Office. No consultation with communities was carried out before the decision to roll out this technology was taken, and there is no research on what impact it might have, especially on highly diverse communities.
As my MP, I ask that you raise this issue with the Secretary of State and call on the Home Office to immediately halt the use of this mobile biometrics technology, and sever all links between police activity and the immigration database.
See what else you can do to #EndStopAndScan in our Supporter Toolkit.