Thursday 28 January 2021 / 1:16 PM David Lammy

‘National scandal’ that more than half of young people in custody are Black, Asian or ethnic minority

‘National scandal’ that more than half of young people in custody are Black, Asian or ethnic minority

 

The number of Black, Asian and ethnic minority young people in custody has risen to 51%, up from 49% in 2019 and nearly doubling from 28% in 2010.

 

This is despite the fact that Black, Asian and ethnic minority people make up just 14% of the UK population. The statistics come just weeks after Liz Truss, the Equalities Minister, suggested claims of structural racism in the UK were “evidence free.”

 

In addition, the Government’s annual youth justice statistics, published today, show racial disproportionality getting worse on a range of other measures including:

 

  • Black children cautioned or sentenced has been increasing over the last ten years and is now twice what it was in the year ending March 2010 (12% compared to 6%).
  • Over past five years, the proportion of all occasions in which Black children were sentenced for indictable offences increased from 14% to 22%.
  • Children from a Mixed ethnic background accounted for 9% of those receiving a caution or sentence in the latest year, more than doubling since the year ending March 2010, when it was 4%.
  • Over a third (36%) of all remand episodes involved Black, Asian or ethnic minority (BAME) children (17% were Black children, 11% Mixed children, 6% Asian children and 2% Other children) and this figure rises to 49% for remands to youth detention accommodation, with 29% of remands to youth detention accommodation given to Black children.

 

David Lammy MP, Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Justice, said:

 

“It is a national scandal that more than half of young people locked up are from a Black, Asian or ethnic minority background.

 

“The Conservative government urgently needs to implement the recommendations in the Lammy Review it has so far ignored, as well as going further to recognise the scale of racial injustice in youth prisons.

 

“Instead of denying the reality of structural racism, it is time for the government to finally act like Black lives matter.”