Black and minority ethnic (BME) Brits were around twice as likely to be fined during the lockdown than white people, according to new figures published on Monday.

A review by the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) of coronavirus fines handed out by the police found that BMEs were 1.6 times as likely to be fined than white people.

The picture worsens for young BME men aged 18-34, who were fined around twice as much as young white men.

NPCC chair Martin Hewitt said: “While it is a complex picture, it is a concern to see disparity between white and black, Asian or ethnic minority people. Each force will be looking at this carefully to assess and mitigate any risk of bias – conscious or unconscious – and to minimise disproportionate impact wherever possible.”

Hewitt also called for a sense of perspective, as the overall number of fines issued were so small. In half of forces in England and Wales, less than 40 fines were given to BME people.

“It [is] hard to draw striking conclusions from such small numbers,” he said.

The killing of African-American George Floyd in the US by white police officers sparked condemnation and protests across the world against unjust police treatment of black and minority ethnic people. There were also large protests in the UK.

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