Further evidence supports this imbalance of ethnicities and races in the CJS. Philips and Bowling note that there have been many allegations of oppressive policing of minority communities, such as mass stop and search operations, armed raids, and a failure to respond effectively to racist violence. They note that minority ethnic groups are more likely to think that they are over-policed and under-protected. In relation to this, the MacPherson inquiry into the murder of Stephen Lawrence identified institutional racism in the Metropolitan police which adds weight onto the stereotypes and allegations about BME within the CJS.
Next, jail sentences are given to a greater proportion of black offenders than white offenders. Hood (1992) found that even when the seriousness of the offence and previous convictions are taken into account, black men were 5% more likely to be jailed. As well as this, black people are five times more likely to be in prison than white people, and black and Asians are more likely to be serving lengthier sentences compared to whites. These imbalanced statistics further portray BME as criminals and unlawfully over-represented in the CJS, regardless of whether they are guilty or not.
Outside of the CJS, some studies have identified the role of the media in exaggerating the crimes of ethnic minorities, therefore influencing the public view on them. For example, Hall (1979) identified the scapegoating of young black men in the ‘mugging’ moral panic of the 1970s. in 2000, Alexander investigated media reports into organised Asian gangs and found them to be mostly fabricated. One could argue that deviancy amplification is largely applied here. Due to media having a large impact on society today, it can be seen as one of the biggest reasons as to why BME are seen to commit more crime than others. The media often use the fear of crime as a way of selling their stories or to manipulate political attitudes, so they may demonise certain groups, including black and minority ethnic groups.
When focusing on statistics, left realists Lea and Young (1993) argue that ethnic differences in the statistics reflect real differences in the levels of offending. They see crime as a product of relative deprivation, subculture and marginalisation. Also, racism has led to marginalisation and economic exclusion of ethnic minorities. The media’s emphasis on consumerism also promotes relative deprivation by setting materialistic goals that many members of ethnic minority cannot reach through legitimate means due to discrimination. Lea and Young recognise that racist policing often leads to the unjustified criminalisation of some members of minority groups.
Furthermore, Neo-Marxists such as Gilroy (1982) and Hall et al (1979) reject the view that official statistics reflect real life. Rather, they are the outsiders a social construction that stereotype minorities as more criminal than whites. Gilroy argues that the idea of black criminality is a myth created by racist stereotypes of Asians and African Caribbean’s. therefore, these groups are not any more criminal than any other ethnic group. However,
As the CJS acts on these racist stereotypes, minorities are prosecuted more and therefore appear more frequently in OCS. Moreover, Gilroy argues that minority ethnic crime is a form of political resistance against a racist society and it has its roots in earlier struggles against British imperialism. This is due to the fact that most black and Asian people in the UK originated from former British colonies, where their anti-colonial struggles taught them how to resist oppression. Therefore, when facing racism, they adopt similar forms of struggle to defend themselves, but their political battle was criminalised by British state. Gilroy argues that most of the crime committed by the working-class is an act of resistance to capitalism.
To conclude, through research and evidence it is clear that people from ethnic minorities are seen as more likely to commit crime than others, whether this is accurate or not it is difficult to justify the truth due to limitations and criticisms within each form of evidence. Stereotyping plays a large role within these assumptions and allegations, and impacts the conclusions and results of such, which can lead to misjudgement and mistreatment of the undeserving, in this case BME.