Sharkey: Met 'spins' music red tape changes

By John Harrington

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Metropolitan police service Chief superintendent Music

Feargal Sharkey
Feargal Sharkey
Music campaigner Feargal Sharkey has accused the Metropolitan Police of "spin" by saying live music is excluded from controversial music risk assessment forms, known as Form 696.

Music campaigner Feargal Sharkey has accused the Metropolitan Police of "spin" by saying live music is excluded from controversial music risk assessment forms.

The former Undertones singer also said an increasing number of influential voices are calling for Form 696 to be scrapped on racial discrimination grounds.

Under the forms, required by 27 London boroughs, licensees are asked to state details for promoted events, including names and ages of every promoter or performer.

Initially it asked for details of the expected racial make-up of audiences, sparking complaints it was racist.

The Met this week modified Form 696 to say it would apply to events that:

- Are promoted/advertised to the public at any time before the event

- Include DJs or MCs performing to a recorded backing track

- Run any time between the hours of 10pm and 4am

- Occur in a nightclub or a large public house

Detective Chief Superintendent Richard Martin told the Morning Advertiser that live music is no longer included, adding: "Live music really doesn't cause a problem".

But Sharkey, chairman of campaign group UK Music, pointed out that promoted events could easily include live music.

"I'm becoming quite fascinated by what some people in the modern world might call spin," he said.

Sharkey labeled the re-writing of the form "a cosmetic exercise" and said "nothing has changed what-so-ever". "It's as discriminatory as it was in the first place."

Sharkey said more than 100 venues are forced to abide by 696 as a licence condition - not 70 as the Met claims.

He disputed police claims the forms are "voluntary", saying officers had said they'll object to an application for an event if the forms aren't applied.

Sharkey said Government minister David Lammy and a senior official at the Local Government Association had written to the Racial Discrimination Commission with concerns about the forms for asking about who is expected to attend promoted events.

Related topics Entertainment

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