London: Britain’s Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has found that Asian and Black teenagers accused of crime in Britain face discrimination under the country’s criminal justice system.
A comprehensive study of youth justice, the EHRC’s report said: “Differences in the treatment between black and mixed-race youths and white youths could not be accounted for by the severity of the crimes or defendants' criminal history, indicating that discrimination may be taking place.”
The researchers found that the disproportionate use of “stop and search” powers by police still provided grounds for allegations of racism.
“Adversarial police tactics are damaging community relations, which can only be counterproductive to reducing youth crime,” The Independent quoted the report, as saying.
It also said that once facing court, the Asian and black youths are three times more likely to be denied bail than their white counterparts.
However, when the case reached court, black youths were one and a half times more likely to have their cases dismissed or withdrawn, compared to white defendants.
In a separate report, the ECHR urged for a review of the stop and search powers across the UK.
“The evidence suggests that some forces are exercising their powers not on the basis of intelligence or reasonable suspicion but on stereotypical assumptions, which is not helping to make society safer,” the study concluded.
First Published: Monday, March 15, 2010, 12:11