Black, Asian and minority ethnic children accounted for 22 per cent of all child arrests by Cambridgeshire Police in 2016

PUBLISHED: 17:00 07 December 2017

Black, Asian and minority ethnic children accounted for 22 per cent of all child arrests by Cambridgeshire Police in 2016

Black, Asian and minority ethnic children accounted for 22 per cent of all child arrests by Cambridgeshire Police in 2016

Archant

Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) children accounted for 22 per cent of all child arrests by Cambridgeshire Police last year.

Cambridgeshire Police made 1,013 child arrests in 2016, of which 225 were of BAME children according to figures obtained after an analysis by the Howard League for Penal Reform

Across England and Wales, police forces made fewer than 88,000 arrests of children in total last year, down from almost 250,000 in 2010. BAME children accounted for 26 per cent of all child arrests.

The Howard League, which has led a campaign to reduce child arrests, has analysed its figures following the findings of the Lammy Review, an independent review of the treatment of, and outcomes for, BAME individuals in the criminal justice system.

The Lammy Review, chaired by David Lammy MP, called for a principle of ‘explain or reform’ to apply to every institution in the criminal justice system.

Frances Crook, chief executive of the Howard League for Penal Reform, said: “Working together with the police, we have ensured that tens of thousands of children will have a brighter future and not be dragged into a downward spiral of crime and custody.

“There is still more work to do, however, and the disproportionate number of BAME children being brought into the system is of great concern.

“It raises serious questions about decision-making throughout the criminal justice journey – from the police’s decision to arrest, to the remand and sentencing decisions of the youth courts.

“The Lammy Review has called on police forces and other criminal justice agencies to either explain disparities or reform. Our analysis of child arrests data is intended to assist this discussion.”

The Howard League’s figures were compiled from data supplied by police in response to Freedom of Information requests.

The first recommendation of the Lammy Review is that a more consistent approach to recording data on ethnicity should be agreed across the criminal justice system.

The Howard League’s research found that two police forces – Norfolk and Suffolk – failed to record ethnicity in more than half of the arrests that they made in 2016.

In a report published earlier this week, HM Inspectorate of Prisons drew attention to the disproportionate number of BAME children in custody.

The report, Children in Custody 2016-17, revealed that almost half of children in jails were BAME.

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