By Owen Bowcott

People from black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds are more likely to be jailed for some crimes than those who are white, according to a government-commissioned report.

While black people are known to be almost four times more likely to be in prison than white people, the study, headed by the Labour MP David Lammy, reveals racial disparities at many stages of arrest, charging, prosecution and imprisonment. 

Lammy, the MP for Tottenham in north London, said: “These emerging findings raise difficult questions about whether ethnic minority communities are getting a fair deal in our justice system. We need to fully understand why, for example, ethnic minority defendants are more likely to receive prison sentences than white defendants. These are complex issues, and I will dig deeper in the coming months to establish whether bias is a factor.”

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