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National charity shines a spotlight on BAME injustice

REVIEW: David Lammy

THE BLACK Training and Enterprise Group (BTEG), a national charity that works for a fairer criminal justice system for young BAME people and the Coalition of Race Equality Organisations (CORE), is calling on black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) voluntary, community and faith groups to mobilise before and after David Lammy MP launches his Government sponsored review into the treatment of BAME people in the justice system next month.

Lammy, in his interim statement to the Prime Minister last November, rightly asked what voluntary and faith groups can contribute. BTEG and CORE believe BAME organisations have a great deal to offer but are often starved of resources. They can and should play a greater role in preventing individuals entering the justice system; offer rehabilitation services (mental health, drugs and employment and housing) and support for families.

Jeremy Crook OBE, Chief Executive of BTEG, says:

“We appreciate system and culture change in the criminal justice system will not happen overnight, it will be incremental, but we should demand a fair justice system within five years. The need has never been greater for BAME voluntary and community organisations to support young people, their families, offenders and former offenders, especially in black and Muslim communities.

“A recent Clinks/NCVO survey of the voluntary and community sector shows that organisations providing services for BAME communities in the justice system are six times more likely to close in the next year than mainstream services.”

When the Lammy Review is published BTEG is calling on BAME communities to:

· Speak and write to their local councillors to make sure their local council addresses race inequalities in the youth justice system

· Write to their Police Crime Commissioner and mayors to make sure they keep reducing Stop
and Search and review the number of arrests of BAME people

· Meet with their MPs and ask what practical steps they are taking to make sure the Lammy review recommendations are implemented

· Use social media to raise awareness of race inequalities and call for the justice system to treat everyone fairly.

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