Home Affairs Committee Press Notice

Session 2005-06 / PN No. 35



The Home Affairs Committee announced today that it will hold an inquiry into the relationship between young black people and the criminal justice system, focusing particularly on public perceptions of criminality among young black people and the reasons for their overrepresentation in the system.

It is common in the media and elsewhere for a connection to be made between young black people and criminal behaviour. However, the evidence for this connection is contested. This inquiry will seek to establish whether patterns of criminal behaviour amongst young black people differ in any significant way from patterns of crime amongst other young people and whether any specific policies are required to tackle this. The inquiry will examine other possible causes of young black people's overrepresentation in the criminal justice system.

Note: For the purposes of this inquiry, the Committee will focus on young people whose cultural background is associated with the ONS Census ethnicity category 'Black or Black British', which comprises 'Caribbean', 'African' and 'Any other black background'. This is the categorisation the Youth Justice Board for England and Wales uses when collecting ethnicity statistics. The Committee does not aim to be restrictive and would welcome evidence as to the relevance of these categories.

The Committee is seeking written submissions of no more than 2,500 words from interested parties, before it takes oral evidence on this inquiry. Organisations and individuals interested in making written submissions are invited to do so by Wednesday 26 April 2006.


Evidence submitted should:
€”if possible, be provided as electronic versions in MS Word or Rich Text format
€”include full postal address and contact details
€”begin with a short summary
€”have numbered paragraphs
€”avoid the use of colour or expensive-to-print material

Material already published elsewhere should not form the basis of a submission, but may be referred to within a proposed memorandum, in which case a hard copy of the published work should be included. Submissions should be sent to the Clerk of the Committee via homeaffcom@parliament.uk or, by post , to Home Affairs Committee, 7 Millbank, London, SW1P 3JA. Further guidance on the submission of evidence can be found in the http://www.parliament.uk/commons/selcom/witguide.htm

The Committee normally, though not always, chooses to publish the written evidence it receives, either by printing the evidence with its Report on the inquiry or by making the evidence publicly available through the Parliamentary Record Office. If there is any information you believe to be sensitive you should highlight it and explain what harm you believe would result from its disclosure; the Committee will take this into account in deciding whether to publish or further disclose the evidence.

It would be helpful, for Data Protection purposes, if individuals wishing to submit written evidence send their contact details in a covering letter. You should be aware that there may be circumstances in which the House of Commons will be required to communicate information to third parties on request, in order to comply with its obligations under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

Media Enquiries: Jessica Bridges Palmer, Tel 020 7219 0724, email: bridgespalmerj@parliament.uk
Specific Committee Information: Tel 020 7219 3276, email: homeaffcom@parliament.uk
Committee Website: http://www.parliament.uk/homeaffairscom
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Publications / Reports / Reference Material: Copies of all select committee reports are available from the Parliamentary Bookshop (12 Bridge St, Westminster, 020 7219 3890) or the Stationery Office (0845 7023474). Committee reports, press releases, evidence transcripts, Bills; research papers, a directory of MPs, plus Hansard (from 8am daily) and much more, can be found on www.parliament.uk

NOTE FOR EDITORS: The Committee was nominated on 13 July 2005. Its terms of reference are to examine the expenditure, administration and policy of the Home Office and its associated public bodies; and the administration and expenditure of the Attorney General's Office, the Treasury Solicitor's Department, the Crown Prosecution Service and the Serious Fraud Office (but excluding individual cases and appointments and advice given within government by Law Officers). The Members are:
Rt Hon John Denham (Chairman) (Lab) (Southampton Itchen)
Mr Richard Benyon (Con) (Newbury)
Mr Jeremy Browne (Lib Dem) (Taunton)
Colin Burgon (Lab) (Elmet)
Mr James Clappison (Con) (Hertsmere)
Mrs Ann Cryer (Lab) (Keighley)
Mrs Janet Dean (Lab) (Burton)
Nick Harvey (Lib Dem) (North Devon)
Steve McCabe (Lab) (Birmingham Hall Green)
Mr Shahid Malik (Lab) (Dewsbury)
Gwyn Prosser (Lab) (Dover)
Mr Richard Spring (Con) West Suffolk)
Mr Gary Streeter (Con) (South West Devon)
Mr David Winnick (Lab) (Walsall North)