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Lammy: Over Half of Young Prisoners Being Minorities Must Be ‘Racial Injustice’


David Lammy, the Shadow Secretary of State for Justice and Lord Chancellor, says it must be “racial injustice” that over half of under-18s in custody in Britain are Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic (BAME).

Lammy, who as Shadow Lord Chancellor would be the most senior Great Officer of State in the United Kingdom if Labour were in power, technically outranking the Prime Minister, suggested that new figures showing ethnic minorities now account for 51 per cent of people in youth detention was proof of “structural racism”.

“It is a national scandal that more than half of young people locked up are from a Black, Asian or ethnic minority background,” Lammy railed in a statement shared on the Labour Party website.

“The Conservative government urgently needs to implement the recommendations in the Lammy Review it has so far ignored, as well as going further to recognise the scale of racial injustice in youth prisons,” he continued, referencing his report which recommended, among other things, that more minority criminals should be offered “deferred prosecutions” — essentially sidestepping charges if they agree to participate in some sort of rehabilitation programme.

“Instead of denying the reality of structural racism, it is time for the government to finally act like Black lives matter,” he added.

The new figures on youth justice show the number BAME detainees now stands at 51 per cent, up from 49 per cent in 2019 and 28 per cent in 2010.

Labour complains that this is “despite the fact that Black, Asian and ethnic minority people make up just 14 per cent of the UK population” — but this does not account for the fact that the 14 per cent estimate is based on census data which is now a decade old and likely out of date due to years of mass immigration, or the fact that the BAME share of the youth population is much higher than the BAME share of the general population in any case.

Neither Lammy or his party offered any indication that BAME individuals bear individual responsibility for the high proportion of BAME people in custody, apparently considering it implicit that racism must be the key explanation and getting their number down the priority, rather than safeguarding the public.