Ethnicity & Crime
The ethnic minorities within the UK consist largely of African-Caribbean and Asian backgrounds. According to the Official Crime Statistics theses ethnic minorities are responsible for the majority of crime. There are conflicting explanations for these statistics, one being that ethnic minorities are subjected to harsher treatment than white people.
Phillips & Bowling - ethnic minorities are subjected to military style policing, This leads to confrontation with authority, and ultimately alienation.
Police labelling that is a constant feature in ethnic minority crime rates creates self-fulfilling prophecy that creates a cycle of criminal activity that is near impossible to escape.
Sharp & Budd - found that black youths are less likely to offend than white youths but are far more likely to be convicted when they do commit. They statement could however, be affected by the age factor (they are youths).
Police stop and search more black people than white people. This is particularly evident in contemporary London, this again could lead to self-fulfilling prophecy and hostility towards the police. Lea & Young believe that rather than creating this hostility, police need to gain the confidence of locals in order to lower crime rates, and tackling the issue of black people being the target of police stop and searches is a key factor that needs addressing.
The Asian population do not feature as much as black people, however they have become more prominent in recent figures but they remain below the national average. Perhaps this is purely because the media has not created the moral panic that they have towards black crime and therefore, the police do not feel the need to police this ethnic group because the public demand for justice is not there.
African-Caribbean people only make up 2.2% of the total population in England, however, they make up 10% of male, and 20% of female prison population. Ethnic minorities are clearly over-represented in prison populations in contemporary UK.
Some sociologists argue that it is issues within the police force and justice system that ultimately affects the ethnic groups in society…