Black people in Britain twice as likely to be murdered as whites – report

A supporter of the UK branch of "Black Lives Matter" hands out placards at the start of a demonstration in London, Britain August 5, 2016.  © Peter Nicholls
Black people in the UK are more than twice as likely to be murdered as white people, and three times as likely to be prosecuted and sentenced, according to a new report which calls on the UK to “urgently” tackle the issue of racial inequality.

The report from the Equality and Human Rights Commission, released Thursday, examined criminal justice, education, employment, housing, pay and health in Britain. It is the most extensive review of race equality ever to take place in the UK.

The research found that race was the motive behind 82 percent of hate crimes recorded in England and Wales, noting an “unprecedented spike” in such crimes after Britain voted to leave the EU in June.

“The combination of the post-Brexit rise in hate crime and deep race inequality in Britain is very worrying and must be tackled urgently,” commission chair David Isaac said in a statement.

The paper went on to note the mortality rate of black African women in the UK is four times higher than white women.

“If you are black or an ethnic minority in modern Britain, it can often still feel like you’re living in a different world, never mind being part of a one nation society,” Isaac said.

Inequality also exists in the workplace, with the report noting a 49 percent increase in long-term unemployment among 16- to 24-year-olds from ethnic communities, compared to a 2 percent fall among white people.

In addition, the report found that black employees with degrees earn an average of 23.1 percent less than their white colleagues. Black people who leave school with A-levels earn 14.3 percent less than their white counterparts.

When it comes to housing, the report found that black adults and Pakistani/Bangladeshi adults are more likely to live in overcrowded properties. Just 8.3 percent of white people were reported to live in such accommodation, compared with 26.8 percent of black people and 31 percent of Pakistani and Bangladeshi people.

Isaac stressed the government needs to urgently address race inequality, noting that previous efforts have been “piecemeal and stuttering.”

“So far the government’s economic plan since 2010 has not been paralleled by a race inclusion plan that prevents cutting some communities even further adrift from equality of opportunity,” he said.

He did, however, praise the words of newly-appointed Prime Minister Theresa May, who spoke on inequality when she took office last month.

“We agree with the government that we must urgently lift our ambitions and are determined to work with the new Prime Minister to redouble efforts to build a fair society,” Isaac concluded.