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Justice, immigration and rights
Justice, immigration and rights

The justice system criminalises and fails Black people disproportionately.

  • Black people are nine times more likely to be stopped and searched and three times more likely to be detained than White people.30
  • Black young people increasingly receive custodial sentences. In the year ending March 2019, 27.8% of people in youth custody were Black – more than double the percentage in 2006.32
  • While only 13.3 % of Londoners are Black, in September 2018, 80% of the names on the Gangs Violence Matrix belonged to Black people.33
  • 89% of detained young people aged 12-18 had been previously excluded from school.34
  • Nearly half of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic respondents to UK Black Pride’s We Will be Heard survey have been insulted, pestered, intimidated or harassed in person. Of those who had experienced violence or harassment, more than half felt this had been motivated by their race or ethnicity.35

Black people are also not adequately represented among those empowered to deliver justice.

  • Of the 5,000 judges in the UK in 2021, just 1% were Black.36 There has never been a Black Supreme Court judge in the UK.
  • Black people are significantly under-represented in the police and prison service, compared to their numbers among prison inmates.37

The immigration system has also failed Black people.

  • In 2018, the government admitted 83 Black people were wrongfully deported because of the Windrush scandal.38
  • Regular attempts to deport people of Caribbean heritage continue. One set of UK-born twins faced deportation to different Caribbean countries.39


Black people are nine times more likely to be stopped and searched

BEO will work with partners and allies to address the causes of racial discrimination in the criminal justice and immigration systems through litigation, advocacy, outreach, public education and by creating new systems which give Black communities power to hold institutions to account.