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How do discourses of race shape policing policies of BME communities in Britain - Essay Example

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How do discourses of "race" shape policing policies of BME communities in Britain? Introduction Britain has undergone significant transformations post World War II. There has been a sharp rise in number of people from various cultures and countries, with diverse ethnic backgrounds, which has often led to racial unrest especially in urban areas…
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Download file to see previous pages The 1993 murder of Stephen Lawrence in London also highlighted these urban problems. Recent researches in the twenty-first century have also highlighted issues that give rise to grave concerns regarding treatment of people from BME communities by the UK criminal justice system (CJS), and the negative experience that permeate to the level of sentencing and enforcement (Home Office 2003). Owing to the fact that police service forms to be the gateway to the UK CJS and the visible contact point for the civic populace in tackling crime, it translates into the fact that they have a direct effect on the lives of people than any other enforcement agencies under the UK Home Office (Bowling and Phillips 2002). Therefore, it is essential that their integrity and behaviour, while dealing with the civic populace, remain effective yet fair. Bowling, B., and Phillips, C., 2002. Racism, Crime and Justice. Harlow: Longman. Home Office, 2003. Statistics on Race and the Criminal Justice System: A Home Office publication under Section 95 of the Criminal Justice Act 1991. London: Home Office. Home Office, 2004. ...
Clear evidences that the UK criminal justice system functions in a discriminatory manner based on racism was highlighted in the policy agenda in the Macpherson Report (1999) and the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry. The type of relationship that exists between the civic populace and police has always been in the limelight and recently been receiving greater attention and criticism, especially in the context of their relationship with the BME communities. Policing, whether as a service or a force, as per regulations should not vary from one social group to another. However, various research evidences reveal that, white skinned people tend to have a better experience and relationship with the police than those belonging to the BME communities who are primarily non-whites (Bowling and Phillips 2002). Thus, a colour line distinctly defines the relationship that exists between ethnic minority communities and the police in the UK, as is also seen in many of the other western nations worldwide (Bowling and Phillips 2002). This is also evident from a recent incident that took place on 4th August 2011 where the UK police officers shot dead a young black man named Mark Duggan in Tottenham (north London). This shooting and its subsequent mishandling by the Independent Police Complaints Commission and Metropolitan Police led to a series of riots across various cities in England. Similar to the disturbances as seen in 2001 and 2005 that spread across north English urban areas, the underlying reasons for the riots became a core topic for strong debates while framing policing policies, though unlikely to reach any consensus. However, here it is quite evident that the incident and the immediate response by the police forces to Mark Duggan’s death ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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