The State Government has banned police from using details of a suspect’s ethnicity, religion, nationality or race, when describing the wanted person to the public. They have instead been instructed to describe the suspect as simply light or dark skinned. The Equal Opportunity Commission was reported in the West Australian as saying that using ethnic descriptions “can feed into prejudiced ideas in the community about which ethnicities are mainly responsible for criminal behaviour.” (Note: as previous post reported, Aboriginals are in fact jailed at a rate 14 times higher than the overall WA population.) The West Australian reported that one police insider said these new rules, which were introduced six months ago, “Don’t give a true indication of who police are looking for.” This insider is sure the policy has prevented the capture of suspects, as reported in the West Australian. He/she said “There is a big difference between a dark-skinned person being Aboriginal or African.” This information was reported in the West Australian newspaper, page 7, November 28 2010.

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