Gangs matrix figures

Freedom of Information requests that I submitted to the Metropolitan Police show that our police may be overly targeting BAME youths as gang members, leading to harsher treatment by our criminal justice system.

Figures for the Met's database of gang suspects, called the gangs matrix, show that of the 3,626 people listed on that database 78% were black and a further 9% were from other ethnic minorities.

This means that 90% of youths classed as a gang member, suspected of involvement or at risk of joining a gang are from Black and Minority Ethnic (BAME) backgrounds - considerably larger than their proportion in the population (around 40% in London).

As a consequence, these young people are treated more harshly by the courts and the criminal justice system at large from charging to conviction, sentencing, treatment in prison and rehabilitation in the community.

Next spring I will be publishing the full report of my independent review of the over-representation of BAME individuals in our criminal justice system.

You can read more on The Guardian's website here.

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