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Last updateTue, 17 Mar 2015 2pm

#RACISM: British judges DISCRIMINATING against Black and Asian criminals - Report

British judges have been branded “racist” after a Ministry of Justice (MoJ) report found that white criminals are handed sentences that are more lenient than those given to black and Asian criminals.

The Independent on Sunday quoted the report – titled Statistics on Race and the Criminal Justice System 2012 – as saying that black and Asian criminals were almost 20 percent more likely to be jailed than whites for similar offences.

The report also revealed that sentences handed to criminals from an Afro-Caribbean background were seven months longer on average than a sentence for a white criminal. 

The MoJ described the disparities as an area of 'increasing concern' with Justice Minister Damian Green telling the Independent on Sunday that “targeting an individual or a group based on their race or religion is unacceptable, it is divisive and harmful to individuals and has no place in a civilised society.”

The report also found that in 2011/12, a black person aged ten or older was six times more likely than a white person to be stopped and searched and nearly three times more likely to be arrested.

Among the other findings of the report were that 32 percent of Asian criminals and 31 percent of Africans were handed immediate prison sentences – as opposed to suspended sentences or fines – compared with 26 percent for white criminals.

The average custodial sentence for black prisoners was 23.4 months but for white it was just 15.9 months.

Crown court judge and chairman of the Society of Black Lawyers Peter Herbert said the figures showed 'institutional racism', within the justice system.

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