Cumbria Police sorry for black drug dealer image in appeal leaflet

A British police force has apologised after using an image of a black person dealing drugs in an anti-drugs leaflet.

Cumbria Constabulary said it accepted it used a poor choice of image in the leaflet, which appealed for information about crimes.

Campaigning organisation Anti Racist Cumbria said the image perpetuated "racist stereotypes" and some black people felt "watched".

The force said the leaflet had been withdrawn from circulation.

A police spokesman said: "We are aware of concerns raised regarding a leaflet which includes an image of a black person dealing drugs.

"Following feedback, the constabulary accept that this was a poor choice of image.

"Immediate action has been taken to remove this material from further use and additional processes have been put in place to ensure appropriate imagery is used in future material.

"The constabulary apologise for the offence this has caused."


As of March 2020, people from BAME (black, Asian and minority ethnic) backgrounds constitute only 13% of the general population in the UK, but make up 27% of its prison population.

BAME defendants were more over-represented in prosecutions for robbery (39%), drug offences (39%), and possession of weapons (31%).

Drug offences were the largest category for which BAME offenders were convicted.

Half of the convictions of Black offenders were for drug offences or possession of weapons, compared to under a quarter of convictions of White offenders.


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