Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Report Says Racism Isn't Being Tackled; Procedures of Police Criticised by Academics

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Report Says Racism Isn't Being Tackled; Procedures of Police Criticised by Academics

Article excerpt

Byline: Nicola Weatherall

POLICE forces in the North East are failing in their duty to tackle racism in the region, a new report claims.

Researchers from Durham, Northumbria and Teesside universities joined forces to explore the issues relating to the increasing black and ethnic minority populations in the region.

The report highlighted racism in both urban and rural parts of the North East and says tensions exist between the police and ethnic minority groups, as well as there being issues in schools and the business world. The report says: "There remains a lack of trust that the police and other agencies deal with racist incidents effectively in terms of recording, responding to, monitoring and tracking incidents to assemble an accurate picture of racism in the region."

The academics looked at records from the region's three police forces and found the data was "incomplete and inconsistent".

The study adds: "It is disconcerting to find that the data that is collected in this territory, which could underpin much better public understanding of the scope and extent of racism in the region, is collected in such an apparently haphazard fashion between the three police forces.

"Given that minority ethnic people are least likely to report crimes committed against them, the impact of missing data in understating the real nature and extent of racist offending in the region should not be underestimated."

Other issues highlighted in the report Race, Crime and Justice in the North East Region include: racist bullying in schools; racist graffiti on walls and doors of housing; discrimination in banks for those wishing to buy a house or start their own business; ? difficulties in accessing work and training, plus poor recruitment practices. One of the report's authors, Professor Grey Craig from Durham University, said: "We are witnessing the same difficulties with racism that you would have found in other regions 30 or 40 years ago. …

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