The issue of policing in the UK has been a matter of much debate in recent weeks, with an increase in the number of violent crimes taking place across the country, particularly in the capital, raising questions over the government’s budget cuts to police forces and its commitment to keeping Britain safe.
United Nations experts have reportedly raised concerns over the treatment of black and other ethnic minorities in police custody in the UK, according to the Independent newspaper.
According to media reports, the UN also accused police forces of inadequately investigating the deaths of ethnic minorities while in police custody, resulting in a “lack of accountability” and warned that the families of victims didn’t receive satisfactory reparations.
“The deaths reinforce the experiences of structural racism, over-policing and criminalization of people of African descent and other minorities in the UK. People of African descent with psychosocial disabilities and those experiencing severe mental or emotional distress reportedly face multiple forms of discrimination and are particularly affected by excessive use of force,” a panel of experts said in the report.
These comments were made just days after the 25th anniversary of the murder of Stephen Lawrence – perhaps the highest profile racially motivated murder case in the UK.
The panel went on to say that they have “raised their concerns” with the British government in a bid to tackle the issue.
An earlier review by MP David Lammy found that black people are more likely to be jailed in the UK than the US.
So far this year, seven black suspects have been killed while in police custody in the UK, and the UN report found that ethnic minorities are three times more likely to be tasered than white people.
These findings raise further questions about the standard of policing in the UK.
Britain has witnessed an increase in the number of violent crimes occurring on the streets of cities and towns throughout the country, especially in London, with 62 confirmed murders in the capital alone in the past four months.
Politicians, former police chiefs and experts have attributed this rise in violent crime to austerity measures and budget cuts implemented by Prime Minister Theresa May’s government and the preceding Tory-led coalition government, with many calling for the cuts to be reversed to help police forces to contain and tackle the wave of violence.