Select Committee on Home Affairs Written Evidence

29.  Fourth supplementary memorandum submitted by the Home Office


  Information in relation to the ethnicity of victims of crime is already published in Black and Minority ethnic groups' experiences and perceptions of crime, racially motivated crime and the police: Findings from the 2004-05 British Crime Survey (Jansson 2006). Information about the ethnicity of victims of homicide is also published in the annual Section 95 statistics. During the evidence session on 13 March Baroness Scotland provided the Committee with information on the ethnicity of victims of gun crime where there was either fatal or slight injury. This information was published recently as part of the response to a written Parliamentary Question.

  In light of the discussion during the evidence session and the Committee's further request by email, officials have checked again to see if there is any further relevant data on the ethnicity of perpetrators that could be provided following Baroness Scotland's evidence, in which she stated that we do not have data which tells us that the perpetrators of firearms offences are more likely to be black.

  Information about the ethnicity of suspects for gun homicides (a small subset of gun crime) is collected by police forces but not routinely published by the Home Office. In response to the Committee's request officials are undertaking a specific exercise to collate and check this administrative data and expect to have some information by Friday 13 April 2007. Please note the numbers for gun homicides are too small to provide a reliable measure of the ethnicity of perpetrators of gun crime as a whole. Officials have also looked at the court proceedings database to see if there is further reliable information on the ethnicity of those proceeded against for firearms offences. This information is incomplete with regard to ethnicity and, as it reflects only those proceeded against, would not provide robust data on the ethnicity of perpetrators of firearms offences.

  We will provide the information on the ethnicity of suspects in gun homicides as soon as it becomes available but there is therefore no further information we are able to provide to the Committee at this time.

April 2007

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