Race and crime in the United Kingdom

The relationship between race and crime in the United Kingdom is the subject of academic studies, government surveys, media coverage, and public concern. Under the Criminal Justice Act 1991, section 95, the government collects annual statistics based on race and crime.[1][2][n 1]

These statistics have highlighted differences in rates of crime between racial groups, and some commentators have suggested cultural explanations for these differences.


In 2003 Lee Jasper, a race advisor to the London mayor, said drugs and gun crime were the "biggest threat to the black community since its arrival here".[4]

In 2007, after a series of murders committed by black people, prime minister Tony Blair attributed them to a distinctive black culture: "the black community (...) need to be mobilised in denunciation of this gang culture that is killing innocent young black kids. But we won't stop this by pretending it isn't young black kids doing it."[5] Some from the black community criticised his remarks.[6]

Gang involvement is said to be a "continuing problem" in the community.[7] African-Caribbean people are underrepresented in white-collar crime.[8]

Some commentators have argued that the issue of black people and crime is hidden away or downplayed, and that the fear of accusations of racism may have contributed to this.[9][10]

The Metropolitan Police Service is one of the few police forces which has collected statistics on gang rape. Filmmaker Sorious Samura compiled 29 such incidents involving young people from January 2006 to March 2009, and found that, of 92 people convicted, 66 were black or mixed race. Samura said he found it "impossible to ignore the fact that such a high proportion were committed by black and mixed-race young men".[11]