When is detaining someone in police custody actually worth it? The UK currently has 3 separate justice systems, each belonging to either England and Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland. My focus is centred on the justice system in England and Wales. The Crown Prosecution Services claims that the criminal justice system works in partnership with the police, courts, the Attorney General’s Office, the Home Office, the Ministry of Justice, and other agencies throughout this criminal justice system. Additionally, it is said that 43 police forces throughout England and Wales are responsible for the investigation of crime, collection of evidence, and the arrest or detention of suspected offenders. However, why are we finding that a lot of issues actually correlate to the police force? The amount of systematic racism throughout the nation has become increasingly relevant in recent years and it is time that we all started to acknowledge it more.
The criminal justice system is put in place to achieve justice for all and protect the innocent while punishing the guilty and helping them so that they stop offending. If this system was put in place to support the offenders and provide them with guidance so that they learn from their mistakes, then why is it that as a nation, we spend tens of thousands to fund facilities that hold these offenders, yet they are provided with substandard treatment and live in extremely shabby conditions. If our goal is to help those that need the help, we must show them that we are actually trying to help them and not simply punish them for the crimes they may or may not have truly committed.
The word “justice” should represent fairness, equity, impartiality, and morality, however, there are far too many things wrong with our system that it seems as though it is not portraying the image that was originally painted to us all. As a kid, I grew up wondering why criminals commit crimes, why the world was so dangerous, why my gender and race made me different and why that made an impact on my safety. In high school I even went on to research adverse childhood effects on children specifically in the foster and adoption systems around the world to try to find out what actually drives people to hurt others or cause damage to the property of others, however, I started to notice that I was trying to find out why criminals act the way they do and did not even look at whether or not these individuals are even breaking any rules. I was looking at what makes them criminals and did not think to add that, these so-called criminals could have been innocent all along, into my research. I personally think that it is important to figure out what drives people to act the way they do and commit the crimes that they do, but in the latter-day, it seems to become more reasonable to look at whether or not these individuals committed said crimes or whether they were victims of racism, gender inequality, and more.
Lately, there has become evident over-policing of the BAME (Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic) communities, with not much less than twenty percent of the population being part of the BAME community, around a quarter of the prison population is taken up by BAME people. Additionally, there have been many studies that have discovered that those apart BAME groups are about three times more likely to be searched and arrested than white people. On top of that, due to issues with gender-inequality and the gender pay gap being more apparent, gender pay gap reporting has now become apparent, gender pay gap reporting is now required according to the Equality Act 2010.
Following these issues, some solutions that I think should be absolutely necessary are inclusive of pay gap reporting ethnicity wise as well. It would be interesting to see the percentages of people sorted as per race in management and leadership roles. We could also increase the amount of education within the criminal justice system regarding the consequences and the harm of racial bias. We need to aim to improve social diversity and make sure that those taking their authority for granted are being held accountable for their actions.