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Non-white children five times more likely to be stopped by Hampshire police



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BLACK and ethnic minority children in Hampshire are up to five times more likely to be stopped and searched compared with white children, new research suggests.

Early data being compiled by Hampshire County Council and the youth offending team shows that black children are more likely to be stopped and searched by police officers, writes David George of the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

The news comes after home secretary Priti Patel outlined plans to lift all restrictions on police stop-and-search powers.

Government figures suggest the proportions of youth cautions issued have decreased for white children and increased for black and ethnic minority children.
Government figures suggest the proportions of youth cautions issued have decreased for white children and increased for black and ethnic minority children.

Councillors on the county council’s children and young people select committee have voiced their concerns about the disparity.

Cllr Prad Bains, Independent member for Cowplain and Hart Plain, said: "The report stated that black children are five times more likely to be arrested, and I was wondering if that is the same picture here in Hampshire.

"Questions need to be asked about that racial disparity and what is causing it.

"My concern is that schools haven’t been properly dealing with discriminatory incidents – as the council has previously discussed – and the lack of support being offered could make these children more vulnerable."

Cllr Jackie Branson, Conservative member for North East Havant, added: "In my area the vast majority of people are white, working-class people, so you would think they would be the ones causing problems for police.

"But I also wonder how we get over the perception that the police aren’t doing anything, or how children can 'get away with murder' as some people on social media might suggest."

Government figures for England and Wales suggest the proportions of youth cautions issued have decreased for white children and increased for black and ethnic minority children.

Meanwhile, white people are responsible for six times as many criminal offences, while black people are more likely to be victims of homicide.

Nikki Shave, the head of Hampshire’s youth offending team, admitted that there was "plenty of work to do".

She said: "This is the number one priority for us at the moment.

"We have some growing local data and there is evidence to suggest children from black and mixed heritage are more likely in Hampshire to be stopped and searched.

"We have to be absolutely certain that what we’re doing is correct."



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