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Labour Welcomes Lammy’s Role

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David Lammy MP at the stall of Tibet Society during the Labour Party conference (File)

Opposition Labour Party welcomes the appointment of David Lammy MP to review country’s justice system…. reports Asian Lite News

David Lammy MP at the stall of Tibet Society during the Labour Party conference (File)
David Lammy MP at the stall of Tibet Society during the Labour Party conference (File)

British Prime Minister David Cameron has asked his lawmakers to investigate possible racial bias against black defendants and other ethnic minorities in the country’s criminal justice system, Downing Street announced on Sunday.

At present, black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) individuals make up more than a quarter of prisoners, compared to 14 percent of the wider population of England and Wales, according to statistics released by Downing Street.

Latest figures also show that BAME people make up a disproportionate 24 percent of Crown Court defendants, and those found guilty are more likely to receive custodial sentences than white offenders.

Lord Falconer, Labour’s Shadow Justice Secretary, responding to the news that Prime Minister David Cameron has appointed David Lammy MP to lead a review into racism in the justice system, said: “We wish David Lammy well in leading this review into discrimination and racism in the criminal justice system.

 

 “With black and ethnic minorities currently making up more than a quarter of prisoners and still more likely to receive custodial sentences than white offenders, it is clear that action needs to be taken.

 “It is now important that the Government ensures this review leads to real change.”

“If you’re black, you’re more likely to be in a prison cell than studying at a top university. And if you’re black, it seems you’re more likely to be sentenced to custody for a crime than if you’re white. We should investigate why this is and how we can end this possible discrimination,” Cameron said in a statement.

The prime minister has appointed David Lammy, a member of parliament, to lead a review of the criminal justice system in England and Wales to investigate evidence of possible bias against black defendants and other ethnic minorities.

Lammy was asked to report back in the spring of 2017 and provide recommendations to reduce the proportion of BAME individuals in the criminal justice system and make sure that all suspects and offenders are treated equally.

The review will consider BAME people’s treatment and outcomes to identify and help tackle potential bias or prejudice, according to Downing Street.

It will address issues arising from the point of arrest onwards, including through the court system, in prisons and during rehabilitation in the wider community.

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