Shaun Bailey, Conservative Party
Andy Slaughter MP, Labour Party
Merlene Emerson, Liberal Democrats
I agree with Matilda MacAttram. I’ve been a community worker in the black community for over 20 years. I’ve seen the devastating consequences injustice can bring.
Unfortunately there are other examples of mistreatment as well.
Studies have shown that when they present any kind of mental health issue, black people are more likely to be given medication instead of talking therapies that often prove very successful. The result is obvious – the root causes of many mental health issues are not addressed. They are only given a temporary medicated solution.
Labour are trying to campaign on a fairer future for all, but these examples clearly show that their 13 years in power have not resulted in greater fairness. If they haven’t been able to get it right in the past 13 years, why should we trust them to sort it out in the next five?
This isn’t just a election issue for black Britons - it’s one for all Britons.
|DNA evidence is the greatest breakthrough in forensic science since fingerprinting
and has solved many serious crimes previously deemed unsolvable. As importantly, it
has led to the acquittal of others wrongly accused or convicted. The controversy
around it relates to the retention of samples from people not convicted of any
crime. The new Crime and Security Bill currently going through Parliament deals
with this issue and allows for the destruction of samples. However, there is
continuing debate about how quickly and in what circumstances this should happen.
I do not believe, as some do, that everyone should be prepared to give a sample as
this would not discriminate against certain groups, but I am concerned that ethnic
minorities are over-represented on the database. But this is not a DNA issue, it is
about more subjective discrimination - the same reason certain groups may be
targeted for stop and search or decisions taken to charge rather than release.
"I believe that the use of DNA is a vital tool in crime-fighting, but the
indiscriminate nature of government policy means that there are now hundreds
of thousands of people on the police database who have never been charged
with an offence, let alone convicted.
The attitude of the Government to the database gives cause for concern -DNA
profiles are used to pre-judge the motives of an individual without proof of
guilt; the fact that 57 percent of those on the database in London comes
from black and ethnic minorities, far above their representation in the
population as a whole, is not a coincidence.
Unlike other countries such as Scotland and Germany, anyone arrested for any
recordable offence in England now has their DNA sampled and kept permanently
on record. It would be much fairer to have a database that restricts itself
to those who are convicted rather than this arbitrary system which has
helped to foster discrimination."