met police to review 696 form that was shutting down black music events
“This risk assessment shouldn’t compromise the capital’s vibrant grassroots music industry or unfairly target one community or music genre,” says London Mayor Sadiq Khan.
After reports last year found evidence that London venue owners were being pressured to stop playing genres including bashment and dancehall, for attracting the "wrong type of clientele," there has been a focus on whether the London's Met Police were effectively trying to shut down black music events. Grime star Giggs had his 2010 tour cancelled on police advice, and JME made a documentary for Noisey about the controversial Assessment Form 696, which many believe has been used to target events that play black music genres and attract black audiences.
The Met Police have said the Form is used to help clubs, security and police work together to prevent serious violent crime, but many artists and promoters see it differently. In March, P Money told the BBC, "It's been happening for so many years that now we kind of know, it's just our scene. They [police] target grime a lot, they just blame a lot of things on grime… We know they're just trying to shut down grime, because if it was anything else they wouldn't have this issue. 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".
Though the accusations have been strenuously denied by the Met Police, steps to address the issues highlighted by these communities now appear to be being taken. Yesterday, London Mayor Sadiq Khan confirmed to the Evening Standard newspaper that he has ordered a review of Form 696. "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," the Mayor said.
Met Police Superintendent Roy Smith noted that, "So far in 2017 no events have been cancelled at the request of the police following the submission of a Form 696," adding, "We welcome the opportunity to work with the music industry and the Mayor's office to review the process".
It has not yet been announced when the results of this review will be known.