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News Archives: Index

October 7, 2010: Probation Set For Industrial Action

October 5, 2010: Turning Prisoners Into Taxpayers

October 4, 2010: Murder Changes Now In Force

September 20, 2010: Probation Programmes Face Cuts

August 24, 2010: Victorian Poor Law Records Online

August 10, 2010: Justice Job Cuts

July 28, 2010: Prison Violence Growing

July 22, 2010: Police Numbers: Latest Figures

July 22, 2010: New Jurisdiction Rules

July 16, 2010: CCJS On Prison And Probation Spending Under Labour

July 15, 2010: Latest Statistics On Violent And Sexual Crime

July 15, 2010: Latest National Crime Figures

July 15, 2010: New Chief Prisons Inspector

July 14, 2010: Hard Times Ahead For Prisons: Anne Owers

July 14, 2010: Prison Does Not Work: Ken Clarke

July 13, 2010: Criminal Justice Reform: Sentencing and Rehabilitation

July 13, 2010: Criminal Justice Reform Priorities

July 12, 2010: What Price Public Protection, Asks Probation Chief Inspector

July 12, 2010: NOMS has failed, says Napo

July 10, 2010: IPCC To Investigate Death of Raoul Moat

July 9, 2010: Women In Prison: New Report

July 9, 2009: Unjust Deserts: Imprisonment for Public Protection

July 8, 2010: Police Search Powers Change

July 7, 2010: Make 'Legal High' Illegal, Says ACMD

July 2, 2010: Failing Children In Prison

July 2, 2010: Police Buried Under a Blizzard of Guidance: HMIC

July 1, 2010: Freedom To Change The Law?

June 30, 2010: A New Outlook On Penal Reform?

June 30, 2010: Revolving Door Of Offending Must Stop, Says Clarke

June 30, 2010: Ken Clarke: Speech on Criminal Justice Reform

June 29, 2010: No More Police Targets

June 26, 2010: Family Intervention Projects Questioned

June 25, 2010: Cutting Criminal Justice

June 24, 2010: Napo on Sex Offenders Report

June 23, 2010: Closing Courts: The Cuts Begin

June 23, 2010: Strategy To Tackle Gangs

June 15, 2010: Courts and Mentally Disordered Offenders

June 8, 2010: Working With Muslims in Prison

June 1, 2010: Your Chance To Nominate a QC

February 24, 2005: Race and Criminal Justice: New Figures

New government figures on race and the criminal justice system for the year 2003/4 demonstrate that racist incidents have risen; both Black and Asian people experience a greater likelihood of being stopped and searched; and that Black people were over 3 times more likely to be arrested than White people.

In general terms, all non-White ethnic groups have a higher representation as clients of the Criminal Justice System than they do in terms of the general population. This is particularly true of Black and Asian suspects and offenders. Black defendants are more prominent in the Crown Court caseload, partly because they tend to elect for jury trial more often than other ethnic groups including White. Key points include:

  • During 2003/4, racist incidents recorded by the police rose by 7% to 52,694, following a 10% fall the previous year.
  • There were 35,022 racially or religiously aggravated offences recorded by the police in 2003/4 (31,034 in 2002/3). Over half of these were offences of harassment.
  • One third of racially or religiously aggravated offences were cleared up.
  • Of the 5,629 defendants prosecuted for racially aggravated offences in 2003, 2,440 were convicted at magistrates’ courts and 457 at the Crown Court.
  • 681 people were cautioned by the police for racially aggravated offences.
  • In the three-year period ending 2003/4, 22 homicides were recorded as being racially motivated.
  • Around 738,000 ‘stop and searches’ were recorded by the police. Of these, 15% were of Black people, 7% of Asian people and 1% of ‘Other’ ethnic origin.
  •  In practice, there were wide variations in the levels of ‘stop and searches’ between police forces.
  • Relative to the general population,  Black people in 2003/4 were 6.4 times more likely to be stopped and searched than White people - slightly higher than the proportion in the previous year.
  • Asian people were twice as likely to be stopped and searched as White people were; slightly higher than in the previous year.
  • In 2003/4 in England & Wales, there was a fall in the number of ‘stop and searches’ of about 18% for White people, 9% for Black people and 8% for Asian people compared to the previous year.
  •  In England and Wales the main reason for stop and search across all ethnic groups was for drugs. The proportion of those undergoing ‘stops and searches’ for stolen property declined in most ethnic groups.
  • In 2003/4 an estimated 1.33 million arrests for notifiable offences were made. Of these, 9% were recorded as being of Black people, 5% Asian and 1% ‘Other’ ethnic origin. Relative to the general population, Black people were over 3 times more likely to be arrested than White people were, similar to the previous year.
  • Information collected from 8 police force areas on magistrates’ court decisions in 2003 shows that, excluding those defendants committed to the Crown Court for trial, 55% of White defendants, 45% of Black and 44% of Asian defendants were convicted. Data from five police force areas indicates that a greater proportion of White defendants (78%) were found guilty in the Crown Court in 2003 than Black (73%) or Asian (72%) defendants.
  • Data for 37 police force areas for January to March 2004 shows that Asian and Black offenders each accounted for about 3% of those under court orders and supervised by the National Probation Service.
  • In February 2003, Black and Minority Ethnic groups accounted for about 24% of the male prison population (16% Black, 3% Asian and 5% ‘Other’) and about 31% of the female prison population (25% Black, 1% Asian and 5% ‘Other’). These figures included foreign nationals who made up just under 12% of the male and 21% of the female prison population.
  • While most criminal justice agencies have increased their employment of Black and Minority Ethnic groups, they are still under-represented in all police officer, prison officer and prison governor grades, as well as in various posts in criminal justice agencies.

The figures were published in accordance with Section 95 of the Criminal Justice Act, 1991. They are available at the Home Office Research Development and Statistics Directorate.