Ann Juliette Roberts loses police stop-and-search case

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A woman who was searched by police after refusing to pay a bus fare in London has had her appeal case over stop-and-search powers rejected.

Ann Juliette Roberts, 39, accused the Met Police of breaching human rights laws by disproportionately using the powers to target black people.

Previously, the High Court ruled officers acted lawfully when they detained her in Haringey, in 2010.

Three Court of Appeal judges have now agreed with the court's ruling.

Mrs Roberts, who is of African-Caribbean heritage, claimed police search powers were discriminatory on the grounds of race and breached human rights.

Under section 60 of the 1994 Criminal Justice and Public Order Act police can search people at random.

The Met Police is authorised to use these powers in the Haringey area, to tackle gangland violence involving the use of weapons.

Suspected concealed knife

Three judges at the Court of Appeal rejected Mrs Roberts' judicial review of the High Court's ruling the police had acted lawfully and the search powers did not breach human rights.

In September 2010, Mrs Roberts became involved in a row with police after a ticket inspector discovered there were insufficient funds on her Oyster to pay her fare after she boarded a number 149 bus.

An officer at the scene thought she might be concealing a knife in her bag and she was arrested after obstructing the search.

However, no weapons were found and Mrs Roberts received a caution, which was later quashed.

But at the appeal court, Lord Justice Maurice Kay said: "The assumed facts of this case demonstrate that Mrs Roberts was not subjected to section 60 because of her ethnicity."

He added that criticism of the use of stop-and-search powers was "a proper subject for debate elsewhere".

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