Metropolitan Police to end use of controversial ‘Form 696’

The controversial document has long been accused of racially profiling events catering to black audiences

Form 696 – a controversial document that has long been accused of racially profiling events that cater to black audiences – has finally been repealed following a request from Mayor of London Sadiq Khan to review the form in September.

The form, which was introduced in 2005, forced event organisers in London to specify the type of music that is expected to be played at their shows. It was said to result in London’s Metropolitan Police preventing certain shows deemed to be a crime risk from going ahead. 

Before the form was revised in 2008, it asked event programmers questions including, “Is there a particular ethnic group attending? If ‘yes’, please state group” and “Music style to be played/performed (e.g. bashment, R&B, garage)”. Genres like grime have been targeted by the form, which critics have said has inhibited the genre’s growth.

In September, Sadiq Khan asked the Met to reconsider the use of the form. That month, the Met’s Superintendent Roy Smith met Night Czar Amy Lamé and other representatives of the music and culture industries and subsequently carried out a full review.

Smith announced today, “We have taken the decision to remove the Form 696 and instead develop a new voluntary partnership approach for venues and promoters across London.”

Following the reopening of Fabric in January, the repeal of Form 696 helps will provide more hope for the nightlife of London, which has seen half of its music venues and nightclubs close in the past five years.