Report: British Government To Respond To Claims That Grime Shows Are Targeted By Police

Culture Minister Matt Hancock is set to raise concerns over Form 696 with London Mayor Sadiq Khan.

March 27, 2017
Report: British Government To Respond To Claims That Grime Shows Are Targeted By Police Skepta performs at The BRIT Awards 2017 in London.   Gareth Cattermole/Getty

The British government looks set to address concerns that grime artists are unfairly restricted from performing live. BBC News reports that Culture Minister Matt Hancock will raise his concerns about a controversial risk assessment form used by police with London Mayor Sadiq Khan.

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Promoters and licensees in many areas of the U.K. are asked by police to complete a "Form 696" before hosting some music events featuring DJs and MCs. The form asks for the names, stage names, addresses, and phone numbers of all promoters and artists at an event.

The BBC's Victoria Derbyshire Programme found one force still asking for the ethnic make-up of the audience attending and the music genre being played at an event on the form. Both of these questions were removed from the original form after complaints led to a review in 2009. However, a Freedom of Information request has found that 16 other police forces in England are using a similar version of the form.

The police say that the form helps to reduce crime and disorder at live shows. However, grime artists have repeatedly complained that they have been unfairly targeted by the authorities. Giggs had a 2010 live tour cancelled following police advice. In 2016 he said he still faces "so much nonsense" to book shows. JME, meanwhile, looked into the process for a documentary in 2014.

Speaking to the BBC, grime MC P Money described the form as a “race thing” and said the police are prejudiced against certain genres over others. "We know they're just trying to shut down grime, because if it was anything else they wouldn't have this issue," he said. "If, for example, Ed Sheeran had a show and a fight broke out, he's not going to do a 696 on his next arena tour."

The Mayor of London's office said in a statement: "We have supported a number of events that bring together the Met, music venues, and promoters to try to improve the understanding of when and how Risk Assessment Form 696 should be used."

The Met Police denies the voluntary form targets certain genres of music.

Report: British Government To Respond To Claims That Grime Shows Are Targeted By Police