Sunday, March 27, 2005

Cumbria - 'most racist region'

Today's Observer paints a gloomy picture of the state of race relations in England and Wales. The Macpherson report, published in 1999 in the aftermath of the Stephen Lawrence case, highlighted the problem of institutional racism but racism in general has been largely unaddressed. In fact, 'the main party leaders have been warned against inflaming racism during the forthcoming election campaign by Trevor Phillips, chairman of the Commission for Racial Equality'.

Some items that caught my eye:
  • Ethnic minorities living in parts of Britain are now four times more likely to have suffered from racism than they were before the last general election

  • In Cumbria, now statistically the most racist region in England and Wales, reports of racist incidents more than doubled, and have affected more than 6 per cent of the population. There is a similar picture in West Mercia, Cleveland, Hampshire and Staffordshire, all police areas with relatively small minority populations.

  • Scotland also saw a significant jump, from 2,242 incidents in 2000 to 3,800 last year, making it one of the 10 most dangerous regions of Britain.

  • By contrast, London, home to about 1.9 million of Britain's ethnic minorities, saw a decrease from more than 23,000 incidents in 2000 to just over 15,000 last year.

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