A new independent chair has been appointed to oversee work improving racial bias in the criminal justice service.
Desmond Brown, previously chair of Bristol’s Commission for Race Equality has joined Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Sue Mountstevens to oversee work tackling racial bias within the criminal justice service in Avon and Somerset.
The Independent Chair for the Lammy Review Group of the Avon and Somerset Criminal Justice Board will provide strategic direction and co-ordination across partner agencies to reform racial disparity in the area’s criminal justice service.
Desmond Brown, founder of Growing Futures, has been appointed to hold participating organisations, including Avon and Somerset Police, Bristol City Council and Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunal Service, accountable and to ensure they deliver the agreed tasks within the programme of responses to the influential Lammy Review.
David Lammy MP carried out an independent review of the treatment of and outcomes for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) individuals in the criminal justice service. He made a serious of recommendations regarding racial bias throughout the criminal justice system.
PCC Sue Mountstevens said: “I welcome Desmond as our Independent Chair for the Lammy Review Group and I am in no doubt he will bring a wealth of knowledge and ideas to the role. I know that there are still too many injustices in our society and many of those inequalities are still within our criminal justice services.
“I look forward to working with Desmond and the wider Lammy Review Group to continue to seek solutions and truly address the racial bias in our criminal justice service.”
Mr Brown added: “I am honoured to have been appointed Independent Chair for the Lammy Review Group of the Avon and Somerset Criminal Justice Board. I eagerly look forward to working with representatives and colleagues to take on the challenge of tackling disproportionality within the CJS.
“Building on findings and recommendations of the Lammy Review 2017, my role will be to provide strategic direction, coordination and oversight of multi-agency actions to explain and reform racial disparity in Avon and Somerset’s Criminal Justice area. It will take sustained focus, commitment and courage if we are to succeed.”