Fergal Sharkey, CEO of music industry representative body U.K. Music, has written to the Metropolitan Police commissioner Sir Ian Blair to express concerns about the personal details being demanded as part of a risk assessment procedure for live events in London.

As previously reported (Billboard.biz, Nov. 11), Sharkey was unhappy that the police had got at least 12 London councils to sign up to the Metropolitan Police's promotion/event risk assessment Form 696.

The document asks for artists and musicians to supply personal details including an address and telephone number at least 14 days before an event. Although councils decide on granting licensing applications, they take the advice of police.

Sharkey now believes at least 21 London borough councils are coopertating with the police to screen live music performances in this way. When he revealed concerns about the system to Billboard.biz, Sharkey said he was troubled that the form asks for the type of music to be described and offers examples within the urban genre.

Sharkey states in the letter to Sir Ian Blair: "In explicitly singling out performances and musical styles favored by the black community: garage and R&B, and MCs and DJs, we believe the use of risk assessment Form 696 is disproportionate, unacceptable and damaging to live music in the U.K."

He adds that there is no requirement in the 2003 Licensing Act for this information to be gathered and collected. Among the questions for the commissioner, Sharkey asks if there is a database with artists' personal details.

"In the interests of our artists, musicians, songwriters and composers, major and independent record labels, managers, music publishers, collecting societies and studio producers we would like to be able to explain how personal details of individual artists are going to be used by the authorities," says Sharkey in the letter.

He has also written to information commissioner Richard Thomas with his concerns and questions regarding data storage of artist details.

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