In our legal centre’s experience, numerous crime statistics involving Africans are police generated. This means that there is no underlying crime that causes the police interaction. Instead, it is the interaction between the police and youth itself that generates charges of resist police, assault police, offensive language and fail to give name and address — among others.
…It is critical to realise that crime statistics are not statistics on successful prosecutions. Numerous African clients of mine have been arrested numerous times without being charged. Some of these arrests are for assault matters. Briefs may not be authorised, charges may never be laid, or may be withdrawn by the police or dismissed after hearing, and yet they all still rate as a crime statistic.
Tamar Hopkins (working at the Flemington and Kensington Community Legal Centre) on Victorian Police crime statistics: http://newmatilda.com/2012/08/23/how-beat-sudanese-crime-stats (via moniquemallo)
it’s so frustrating and weird that a statistic that should be read as indicating a serious problem with police harassment becomes the justification for headlines about “african crime waves”