“Members of Ethnic Minorities Are No More Prone to Commit Criminal Acts Than Other Sections of the Population, but Are over Represented in Crime Statistics”

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Different ethnic groups have different representations according to crime statistics, only certain groups of ethnic minorities are over represented in statistics. Some ethnic minority groups such as Afro-Caribbean males appear proportionately higher in crime statistics whereas the Chinese in comparison are under represented. Afro-Caribbean males are the main ethnic minority group to be over represented in crime statistics. When looking at any official statistics we must remember that they may not be totally accurate. Crime statistics are based on reported and recorded crime. They are not necessarily a reflection of offending rates but can be seen just as much as a comment on the actions of the police. Therefore a social construction reflecting policing methods and other processes such as the judicial system. Yet if the crime statistics are correct and reflect the true nature of criminal acts we must ask ourselves why some ethnic minority groups do commit more crime?

The focus in crime statistics are towards those of African-Caribbean origin. In 2000 26 whites were arrested per 1000 of the population, with 113 per 1000 for “blacks” and 37 for Asian. After arrest, those of Afro-Caribbean backgrounds are slightly more likely to be held in custody and to be charged with more serious offences than whites. If found guilty of a crime, those of Afro-Caribbean origin are likely to receive a harsher sentence, 17% more likely to be imprisoned than whites. Sociologists are divided on whether these statistics mean that members of the ethnic minorities are discriminated against. If, as some sociologists argue, the actions of the police officers are partly motivated by racism, then the arrest rates reflect this, rather than offending rates by ethnic minorities. If some ethnic minorities higher arrest rate is evidence of police racism, there are a number of explanations. Reflection of society, this approach was adopted by Lord Scarman in his inquiry into the inner-city riots...
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