Entrenching Racial Disparities

This briefing responds to the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts (PCSC) Bill. It explains our concerns that the bill will further entrench racial inequality in the criminal justice system.

We applaud the government’s commitment in recent years to tackling racial disparity in the criminal justice system. But despite this commitment, Black, Asian and minority ethnic people continue to face much poorer outcomes than White people and have lower levels of trust in the system. They make up 14% of the population of England and Wales, but 27% of the prison population.
Racism and structural inequalities also have a cumulative impact on people who come into conflict with the law. Decisions about where, and on whom, to focus police time and effort affect who will come into contact with the police. As a result, some types of crime are over-policed (receive a lot of attention) whereas other types of crime are under-policed.