Judiciary and police shun blacks over top jobs

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The Independent Online
Black people are failing to get senior jobs in the criminal justice system while a disproportionate number are ending up in jail despite years of equal opportunity initiatives, according to a report published today.

The higher echelons of the judiciary remain a white preserve, with no person from an ethnic minority as a high court judge, justices' clerk, or a chief probation officer. There is only one Asian or black officer in the police service above the rank of superintendent, and there are just five circuit judges, five prison employees at governor grades, 21 ushers and four senior lawyers at the Crown Prosecution Service. Overall, the number of black people in the judiciary has risen from 18 or 0.87 per cent in 1992 to 29 or 1.3 per cent last year.

A survey out this week showed that ethnic minorities make up just below 6 per cent - about 3.2 million - of the British population. But the proportion of prisoners who are black has risen from 14 per cent in 1989 to 17 in 1994.

The report by the National Association of Probation Officers and the Association of Black Probation Officers, concludes: "The majority of criminal justice agencies appear still to fail to employ or promote suitably qualified black candidates."

Two exceptions are the Probation Service which has increased its ratio of ethnic minority employees to 7.6 per cent and the Crown Prosecution Service where the number has risen from 5.9 per in 1991 to 7.5 per in 1995, although this is only in the lower grades. The proportion of senior posts has actually dropped to 1.6 per cent.

The ethnic losers

Profession % Ethnic Minority


Judiciary 1.3


courts staff 3.9

Magistrates Not Known

CPS 7.5

Police 1.75

Prison governors 0.49

Prison officers 2.4

All other staff 2.74

Probation grades 7.6