SCLY4 Ethnicity and crime.

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  • Created by: Jasmine
  • Created on: 23-01-12 19:26

Ethnicity and crime - 2 view points =

1 - questions statistics, police bias/ institutional racism?

2 - Accepts statistics - attempts to explain WHY Afro caribbeans commit more crime.

Afrocaribbean males are over represented in the official statistics. Asians are also likely than whites to be stopped and searched & face court proceedings.

Despite the fact that Ethnic minorities make up about 9 percent of the general population, in 2007 26% of male prisoners and 29% of females were from black and ethnic minority groups.

This information taken into account, it appears that there is a higher level of criminality among some minority ethnic groups, particularly the black population.

Other links between ethnicity & crime - Minority ethnic groups tend to have higher portions of young people, those suffering from relative deprivation and living in deprived urban communities rather than greater criminality arising from ethnicity itself, age could also be the issue.


Interactionists (labelling) - There is racism at varying levels of the Criminal Justice system. Official statistics are a social construction and do not present an accurate image of the social distribution of criminality. There are social processes that lead to ethnic minority groups being over represented in the stats such as; labelling, self fulfillng prophecy and deviancy amplification.

New Criminologists reject the official statistics and believe this over representation in the statistics is due to police bias and stereotyping.                                       HALL - MARXIST (Policing the crisis) - Studied the moral panic over mugging in the 70s. Stereotypical reporting represented young black males as 'muggers' making that group a folk devil. Over represented in the statistics as they are more likely to be targetted.

Hall explained that this moral panic was strategically used as a scapegoat for the opression caused by Capitalism . They used a 'cracking down' (zero tolerance policing & stop and searching) approach to this particular group to tackle future unrest of the country. Young black males were…



:) Useful! Thanks




Good summary of the topic.. However, Just Looking at Viewpoint 2 - Gilroy. I think he belongs in Viewpoint one as he and Lea and Young are very much against eachother in views. Gilroy claims that black criminality is a myth and the statistics cannot be trusted due to prejudice within the police. He refers to the Police Federation Magazine which 'claimed' Jamaica  had deliberately shipped convicts to Britain during the early period of migrastion in order to export its crime problems. He also provides evidence to support the fact the police are racist with reference to a police officer in Brixton saying to a reporter: "We are here to give our coloured brethren all the help we can - all they need to go somewhere else."

For these reasons he claims the over-representation of ethnic minorities, especially Afro-Caribbeans, cannot be taken at face value since they reflect prejudice  of the police rather than any real tendency to commit more crime than  White British people. 

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