Ministry of Justice Statistics on Race and the criminal justice system 2018
The Ministry of Justice have published their Statistics on Race and the criminal justice system for 2018. The report compiles statistics obtained from data sources across the Criminal Justice System and aims to ‘provide a combined perspective on the typical experiences of different ethnic groups’. The report found that in general minority ethnic groups appear to be over-represented at many stages throughout the CJS compared with the White ethnic group.
The report reinforces that no causative links can be drawn as they are summary statistics where no controls for additional characteristics have been applied (e.g. geography, offender history or average income), as a result it is not possible to determine to what extent the differences identified in this report are directly attributed to ethnicity.
- The greatest disparity among racial lines appears at the point of stop and search, arrests, custodial sentencing and prison population.
- Among minority groups, Black individuals were often the most over-represented.
The report breaks down into seven core sections, Police Activity, Defendants, Offender Characteristics, Offender Management, Offence Analysis, Victims, Practitioners. The key statistics of which have been detailed here:
- The proportion of stop and searches conducted on White suspects decreased from 75% in 2014/15 to 59% in 2018/19 and increased for all minority ethnic groups.
- Black suspects in London increased from 30% to 37%, now equal to the number of White suspects searched.
- In 2018/19, 48% of all stop and searches (where ethnicity is known) were conducted in London, and increasingly involving a higher proportion of suspects from minority ethnic groups when compared to the rest of England and Wales.
- In 2018/19, two thirds (67%) of children arrested in London were from minority ethnic groups, compared to 21% of children arrested in the rest of England and Wales.
- Just over half (52%) of adults arrested in London were from minority ethnic groups, compared to 22% of adults arrested in the rest of England and Wales.
- White defendants consistently had the highest conviction ratio for indictable offences over the last 5 years (with the exception of 2015) and was 85% in 2018.
- Compared to White defendants (38%), larger proportions of Asian (40%), Mixed ethnicity (45%), Black (46%) and Chinese or Other (46%) defendants were remanded in custody for indictable offences at Crown Court.
- White defendants have consistently had the highest guilty plea rate since 2012, with 70% pleading guilty in 2018. Defendants from Mixed ethnic groups had a guilty plea rate of 64%, Black defendants had a rate of 57% and Asian and Chinese or Other defendants had a rate of 56%.
- White offenders have had a consistently lower average custodial sentence length (ACSL) for indictable offences than all other ethnic groups since 2014.
- In 2018, White offenders had an ACSL of 18.3 months compared to 29.1 months for Asian offenders, 28.0 months for Black offenders, 23.3 months for Chinese or Other offenders and 22.2 months for offenders from Mixed ethnic groups.
- Over the last 3 years, Asian male offenders had the longest ACSL which was 29.5 months in 2018 compared to 19.1 months for White males. In 2016, Asian males received on average a 34% longer custodial sentence than White males, in the latest year this disparity has increased to 54%.
- A higher proportion of prosecutions in the Black and Mixed ethnic groups were against children,13% and 14% respectively, compared to 5% for White defendants.
- In 2018, a higher proportion of White offenders had a long history of offending.
- The Black ethnic group had the highest re-offending rate and White re-offenders had the highest number of re-offences per re-offender.
- Black prisoners served the greatest proportion of their original sentence in custody.
- A greater number of children in prison were from minority ethnic groups.Two fifths (40%) of prisoners aged under 18 were Black or Mixed ethnicity,despite these ethnic groups accounting for less than one fifth (17%) of the entire prison population.
- For drug offences, the custody rate was consistently highest for the Chinese or Other ethnic group over the last 5 years.
- Since 2016, Asian Offenders had the longest ACSL for possession of weapons offences. In 2018, the ACSL for possession of weapons offences was highest for the Asian Ethnic group (17.1 months) and lowest for Chinese or Other offenders (8.8 months).
- Between 2015/16 and 2017/18, Black children made up 20% of all child victims, while Black victims made up 13% of victims across all age groups.
- The proportion of staff and practitioners in criminal justice system organisations from White ethnic groups has slightly decreased over the last 5 years with equivalent increases seen across most minority ethnic groups.