Bishop of St Albans asks Government about data on racial bias in criminal justice system

On 2nd July an answer to an Urgent Question in the Commons on the Lammy Review was given in the House of Lords. The Rt Revd Alan Smith, Bishop of St Albans, asked a follow up question focusing on data analysis.

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, one of the important ideas found in the Lammy report is the use of relative rate index analysis, which provides important data on the way decisions at various points of the criminal justice system take place. This is the sort of tool we will need if we are to address this deeply embedded problem. Will the noble and learned Lord tell the House whether this relative rate index analysis has been a repeated and whether the lessons are being implemented?

Lord Keen of Elie: My Lords, the CPS in particular is fully committed to ensuring that its decisions are free from racial bias. In that context, it is currently investigating a limited number of offences where review showed evidence of disproportionality in charging. It continues with such quality assurance decisions to check for racial bias. However, there are considerable practical difficulties in pursuing this and the CPS has to act on material passed to it by the police. This has to be undertaken across the entire criminal justice system.


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