Human rights and equality for all
I recognise the need to address the root causes of crime, conflict and discrimination. I want to tackle structural inequality and institutional discrimination, and focus on ways to prevent crime.
Listening to the experiences of young people is at the heart of my approach. I will be guided by the voices of young people and by the organisations that support them. A coalition of organisations, led by the human rights organisation Liberty, produced a brilliant guide (Holding Our Own) about non-policing solutions to serious youth violence. The guide is an inspiring manifesto to stop the harm that is currently done to our community through policing and education, and provides ideas of how all young people can thrive.
Last year we learnt of the horrifying experiences of Child Q, a Black girl who was strip-searched by police officers at her Hackney school because of suspected cannabis possession. This disturbing incident showed many people how unfair, unjust and racist our policing is.
We know this is not a one-off incident, but comes after decades of police failings. Yet another report has been published about the scale of the problems within the Metropolitan Police (Met). The Casey Review found the Met to be institutionally racist, sexist and homophobic. Research by local youth-led social-action project Hackney Account has highlighted the trauma young Black people experience when they are stopped and searched by the police. Until all communities are safe, none of us are safe. Greens recognise the scale of reform required and are working hard at every level of elected office to make sure that communities see real change.
Before getting elected, I worked with the police, community leaders and businesses in Dalston to re-establish the Dalston Police Ward Forum. This Forum has allowed for residents, community members and local businesses to discuss what they need from the police to feel safe, and to address their distrust of police tactics and targeting. Ward Forums need to be strengthened as a place for the community to scrutinise the police and set appropriate priorities which are agreed with the community.
Classrooms should be safe, welcoming and nurturing environments. The organisation No Police in Schools has found that a police presence in schools makes young people feel unsafe and needlessly treat minor behavioural issues as criminal justice issues. I will work with schools to establish different ways of working with the police, to make sure staff are supported and young people are safe without the need for police to be present in schools.
Zoë has a track record of standing up against harmful policing. Shortly after being elected as a councillor, Zoë challenged and publicly condemned over-policing and police violence against delivery riders in Dalston. She also challenged the response from the former Labour Mayor, who defended the police’s actions.
As Mayor of Hackney I will listen to residents and liaise with community groups, especially those representing communities disproportionately affected by policing. I commit to:
Suspected cannabis possession is too often used as an excuse by police in Hackney and elsewhere to target young Black people. For too long, people (predominantly from Black communities) have been criminalised for suspected possession of cannabis – a drug which is now legalised in many other countries – or have been subjected to traumatising stop and search procedures in relation to the drug. Police harassment and criminalisation have a devastating impact on young people’s lives and life chances.
In my role as a councillor and leader of the Green Group, I’ve challenged the over-policing of Black residents in relation to drugs. As Mayor, I will use my power to work with the police and campaign to:
Everyone deserves to feel safe and secure in the borough, but this is currently not the case.
In order to make our streets safer I will:
“Listening to the families and campaigners talk about the devastating impacts of our current drug laws, really drives home the need for change”
In June, I joined Anyone’s Child annual lobby to call for the legalisation and regulation of all drugs.
Human rights and equality for all
We are at crisis point. My plan to take action.
Everyone deserves a safe, secure and affordable home
Giving residents more power over their lives, homes and communities.
Every resident has the right to fair and just policing
A future for every child and young person
Cleaner air and safe, healthy streets for every resident
A mission to build community wealth.
Green spaces benefit people and our planet
Rethinking our use of resources