Editorial (Issue 19: Issue 1)

Published 22/05/2023
Type Editorial Comment
Author(s) Kevin Wong, Jean Hine

Welcome to this issue of the British Journal of Community Justice.

The papers in this issue highlight current and long-standing concerns about race equality in the criminal justice system and the challenges in identifying and addressing community tensions. Issues which influential 2017 Lammy Review brought to the fore. Our papers do not directly touch on the issue of policing, but it seems remiss not to mention the recently published Casey Review report (Baroness Blackstock 2023) into standards of behaviour and internal culture of the Metropolitan Police (the Met). The finding that the Met is institutionally racist, sexist and homophobic is damning and profoundly dismaying. The issue of race equality and justice is not new. It suggests that lessons have not been learnt from the Scarman Report into the Brixton riots, over forty years ago; and the MacPherson report (1999) which first found the Met to be institutionally racist. The Met and policing more generally does not constitute the totality of the criminal justice system in England and Wales. Nevertheless, the Casey Review is totemic and warns against the dangers of complacency, self-regard and “turning a blind eye” to the issue of race and other equality concerns across the criminal justice system.