- 2018 Police & Justice Service Group Conference
- 14 June 2018
This conference welcomes the report and publication of ‘The Lammy Review’. An independent review into the treatment of, and outcome for Black people in the criminal justice system.
The eradication of discrimination in the criminal justice system is enshrined in UK legislation. However, since the introduction of the Equality Act 2010, report after report has shown that racial bias continues to exist throughout the justice system in the UK.
The Report by David Lammy MP contains 35 comprehensive far-reaching recommendations including a key principle that racial disparity must be “explained or changed” and the importance of achieving a workforce in the criminal justice system that is diverse and representative.
Conference welcomes the acknowledgement in David Lammy’s report of the failings of the privatised Community Rehabilitation Companies and the barriers that privatisation presents to the accountability of the private companies in relation to the collection and publication of data concerning protected characteristics.
However, it is disappointing that the government has decided not to set targets for the delivery of a representative judiciary and magistracy by 2025. This decision should be reversed if the government is truly committed to transforming the justice system to make sure it works better for Black Communities.
The over-surveillance and over-policing of Black people in the UK, with the recent report of the Metropolitan Police being four times more likely to use force against a Black person than a white person, this issue continues to be an emotive subject for UNISON Black members and the wider community.
UNISON recognises that it is an issue much wider than the workplace, but can be used to engage members and the wider Black community in important campaigns for justice as well as challenging racism in the workplace.
A justice system that works better for Black communities will work better for all.
We therefore call on the Police and Justice Service Group Executive to:
1)Work with the National Black Members Committee to explore how to address the specific recommendations relating to the Probation Service, and to our members who work for the National Probation Service and the Community Rehabilitation Companies, as outlined in the Lammy report;
2)Consider writing to the Secretary of State for Justice to ask the Government to accept Recommendation 16 in the Lammy Review to set a clear national target to achieve a representative judiciary and magistracy by 2025;
3)Work with the National Probation Service, the Community rehabilitation Companies and the Probation Diversity Support Network to seek to ensure tangible and fair outcomes for Black people in the judicial system;
4)Explore how we might engage with sister trade unions to look at some joint work across the trade union movement.