Protesters say police arrested this man in London violently. (YouTube screenshot)

Racial profiling, it would appear, has a passport. Youth throughout the United Kingdom say that they are often stopped, searched, and interrogated by police officers similar to their U.S. counterparts. While they report far fewer incidents of actual death-related altercations with law enforcement, Black and Asian youth in London said they feel the full pressure of BWB – Breathing While Black in their daily activities.

Police records support their stories. For instance, law enforcement are 28 times more likely to use stop-and-search powers against Black people than Whites in London and in some areas, large scale mobile metal detectors are erected to beat back violent crimes committed with knives. Guns are tightly regulated and difficult to obtain legally in the U.K.

“It is bare racism that because I wear a hoodie or baggie pants that I can be pulled over and searched for a knife. I can be walking, on public transport – or even in a taxi, like Mark Duggins – and forced to be scanned,” Titus Newman told the {AFRO}, a youth leader who tutors kids after school. “It is true that some youths are going around committing crimes, but they are a few and the whole should not be made to suffer like we’re criminals.”

Duggins, was stopped by 11 specialist firearm officers while riding in a minicab in 2011 and being searched for weapons when he was shot and killed, which sparked the worst riots in London’s recent history.

Research from the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) found that police stop powers where officers do not require suspicion of involvement in crime, known as “Section 60” stops, had increased exponentially in areas with high rates of Black and Asian youth.

Commander Dean Haydon, head of Scotland Yard’s homicide and major crimes command, said, in a recent statement, that the increase in Section 60 stops was a direct response to the increase in violent knife crimes perpetrated by that particular segment of the population. “Tackling knife crime is a key priority for the Met . Every week, officers from across London carry out enforcement activity, and educational programs aimed at prevention are regularly delivered to young people,” Haydon said.

Knife crime is up by at least 18 percent, after years of falling, and 10 youngsters have been stabbed to death in the capital in the past nine months, including 15-year-old Alan Cartwright, who was chased and killed in a knife attack while riding his bicycle.

Community activist Glenroy Donald said that although it may seem like a natural cause and effect scenario with officers targeting populations of young men who are committing crimes, he said selective enforcement and the intimidation of the innocent by police officers frustrate the situation. “There are a lot of youth out here who need discipline and direction, but there are plenty more who are law-abiding and upstanding. How do you tell the difference between them when you’ve made up your mind that they are all bad?” Donald said.

Bernard Hogan-Howe, metropolitan police commissioner, said that his team listened to the public feedback concerning the ineffectiveness of stops and what was believed to be racial profiling and the result was an uptick in knife crimes. “We had seen a broad reduction in violence, shootings and stabbings, but over the last three months there has been a rise in stabbings and that has caused us to review our position on stop and search,” Hogan-Howe said.

“We were doing too much; repeatedly stopping people who have done nothing wrong can’t be right. But if we are getting to the stage where people think they can carry knives with impunity, that can’t be good for anyone,” he continued.