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Policing: use of force against children increases and disproportionately affects ethnic minorities
12.3.19
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The use of force by police officers against children has increased significantly in recent years and disproportionately affects those who are black or from other ethnic minority groups, according to a new report by the Children's Rights Alliance for England (CRAE).

The figures are highlighted in an article in The Guardian (link):

"Half of the children shot by police with stun guns, and a third of those restrained using spit hoods, in England are black or from other minority ethnic groups, according to figures obtained by children’s rights campaigners.

The data, compiled from freedom of information requests, showed that in the first nine months of last year police across England used electronic stun guns 839 times on people aged under 18, compared with 879 uses on children in the whole of 2017.

Researchers also found a sharp rise in the use of spit hoods against children, with 114 incidents in the first nine months of 2019, more than double the 47 uses in the whole of 2017.

(...)

Of the children who had stun guns used against them in England, 51% were from a minority background, rising to about 70% in London – where black children alone accounted for 54% of incidents. Across England, 34% of children bound with spit hoods were from ethnic minorities. In London this figure rose to 72%."

CRAE has also analysed how government policy affects children in numerous other areas, such as housing, poverty, immigration and asylum and education, leisure and cultural activities.

See: New report outlines systematic failures to protect children in England (CRAE, link):

"A new report published today reveals how national and local government is failing to protect children in England whilst policymakers focus on Brexit, leaving children traumatised, powerless and vulnerable to abuse in many areas of their lives. The State of Children’s Rights in 2018 report includes new data gathered using Freedom of Information requests...

The report finds little evidence of progress on children’s rights issues over the past year, suggesting that a focus on Brexit is reducing government’s ability to address issues such as rising exclusions from school, mental health problems and child poverty. This means children’s basic needs and development such as their right to feel safe and be protected from abuse, have a roof over their head and play are being side-lined."

The full report: State of Children's Rights 2018 (CRAE, link) and the section on: policing and criminal justice (link to pdf)

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