CRAE responds to publication of David Lammy review
Responding to today’s publication of the Lammy Review report, the Children’s Rights Alliance for England, part of Just for Kids Law, a charity that supports children and young people in difficulty and campaigns for better protection of rights, said:
“We welcome this landmark report by David Lammy setting out the scale of the overrepresentation of children from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic groups in our criminal justice system. For several years, the growing disproportionality in our youth justice system has been a cause for concern - both for us and for the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child which has criticised the UK Government for failing to tackle the problem.
We were heartened when, in her first speech as Prime Minister, Theresa May highlighted that if you’re Black, you’re treated more harshly by the criminal justice system and she pledged her Government would deliver serious social reform. Today, with these important recommendations for change from the Lammy review, the Government needs to act to make this a reality and stop the life chances of too many of our children and young people being wasted.
But, if we are serious about stopping disproportionately more Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic children being sent to prison, we must also scrutinise the policing of children. BAME children are statistically over-represented in aspects of policing including stop and search, use of force and overnight detention in custody – particularly in London. Our research has found nearly 70% of all Taser use on under-18s in London last year was on BAME children and more than two thirds of the 8,000 children detained overnight in police cells were from BAME backgrounds. If we don’t tackle this disproportionality at the source, we will struggle to tackle it at all.”
Notes to Editors
- The Children’s Rights Alliance for England (CRAE) is part of Just for Kids Law and works with 150 organisations and individual members to promote children’s rights, making us one of the biggest children’s rights coalitions in the world. CRAE’s work on children and policing in London is funded by Trust for London.
- The Lammy Review, chaired by David Lammy MP, is an independent review of the treatment of, and outcomes for, Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) individuals in the Criminal Justice System (CJS). The final report was published on 8th September and can be read here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/lammy-review-final-report. CRAE submitted written evidence and participated in roundtables with the Lammy Review team to share our evidence, experience and recommendations.
- In 2016 the UN Committee on Child Rights examined the UK’s record on children’s human rights and, in their Concluding Observations, raised concerns about the increasing disproportionality in the youth justice system and urged the UK Government to take action: http://www.crae.org.uk/media/93148/UK-concluding-observations-2016.pdf (see paragraph 78)
- CRAE requested figures from the Metropolitan Police on the use of Taser on children aged 17 years old or younger in 2016. The annotated response can be found here: https://www.met.police.uk/globalassets/foi-media/disclosure_2017/may_2017/information-rights-unit--age-ethnicity-and-category-of-tasers-used-on-children-from-january--november-2016
- CRAE asked for data for 2016 on the children detained overnight in police cells. The annotated response can be found here: https://www.met.police.uk/globalassets/foi-media/disclosure_2017/march_2017/information-rights-unit--children-aged-17-and-younger-kept-overnight-in-police-custody-in-2016