NDP

Police check data raises new concerns about the over-representation of African Nova Scotians in the justice system

January 9, 2017


For immediate release.

HALIFAX – Data showing that African Nova Scotians are three times more likely to be stopped by police raises new concerns about the over-representation of African Nova Scotians in the justice system.

“These numbers demand a closer look by the Minister of Justice and point to the pressing need for an action plan from government about how they plan to address racial inequities within our justice system,” said NDP Justice Critic Marian Mancini.

The data released today compiles records of street checks by Halifax Regional Police since 2005. According to the CBC, the Halifax Regional Police had not done any racial analysis of the data until the freedom of information request was submitted by the CBC in October.

Last year, the Nova Scotia NDP obtained a document revealing the over-representation of African Nova Scotians in provincial custody. While African Nova Scotians comprise about two per cent of the total population, they make up 14 per cent of adults in provincial custody and 16 per cent of youth in custody.

“Over the past year, the Liberal government has failed to act on several troubling issues within the justice system until an incident has been revealed through the media or in the House,” said Mancini. “Today’s news contributes to this disturbing trend of inaction and indifference. We need a government that will be proactive about both detecting and addressing concerns in the justice system, instead of just waiting for an incident or public outcry to react.”

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For more information, contact Kaley Kennedy at 902-229-6881 or kaley.kennedy@novascotia.ca.