There have been a few stories int he news recently around the criminal justice sector:

More than half of young people in jail are of BME background

This is a record number, for England and Wales, similar now to the US. Around 51% of boys in young offender institutions (aged 15-21) are BME.  Also, 42% of children in secure training centres (for children up to 17) are from BME backgrounds.

This proportion is around four times the regular population outside the prisons.

Concerns around the lack of diversity in the judiciary, cuts to the court service, and disengagement from families and communities are being discussed, and the government is being urged to look into this.

For the full article, see the Guardian.


‘County Lines’ drug operations are driving a rise in knife crime on the railways

The County Lines drug operation, describes the system where criminal networks use vulnerable inner city young people to transport hard drugs to more rural towns by train. Around 2,000 unique mobile phone numbers are known to be associated with this, and according tot he National Crime Agency.

Knife crime on the railways has more than tripled in the last four years, and police are blaming County Lines.

For more about County Lines, see the Guardian.  For more about knife crime on the railways, see the BBC Breakfast news Facebook page.


Forced Marriage victims NO LONGER to pay costs

Victims of forced marriage overseas will no longer have to take out loans to pay for their return to the UK.

Following an investigation by The Times newspaper that uncovered the facts, a u-turn has been made by the Government.

Formerly, victims of forced marriage who were taken overseas and married without their consent were forced to take out an emergency loan to cover the costs of their flights, food and shelter, if they were unable to pay them themselves.  The Foreign Office would lend the money, and where the woman was unable to pay.  Between 2016 and 2017, 82 people were repatriated with the support of the government’s Forced Marriage Unit.  Between 8 and 12 of these women had to take out the loans.

The policy has now been changed, following the outcry.

For more, see the BBC.