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UK Chinese People’s Experiences of Racially Motivated
A Pilot Study in West Yorkshire and Humberside

Sue Adamson and Bankole Cole

An ERSC-funded research into the help seeking behaviour of UK Chinese (Chan, Bowitt, Cole and Somerville, 2004) revealed that one of the main concerns of Chinese people in the UK is the fear of racial harassment and attacks. More importantly, many of the respondents in the study said that they are less likely to report their victimisation to the police but would seek other forms of support, for example, from friends, Chinese organisations and families. At the invitation of UK Chinese Organisations, the findings of this research were presented at Westminster, to a group of MPs and representatives of Chinese communities, on May 19, 2004. (The meeting was chaired by the Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Race Equality, Community Policy and Civil Renewal, Fiona Mactaggart, MP). At that meeting, the issue of racial harassment of Chinese people in the UK was raised again and supported by graphic examples of personal experiences by delegates. Of particular concern was the fact that those who reported their victimisation to the police were not satisfied with the responses and treatment that they received. In a particular case, the victims themselves became the target of police criminal investigation. The delegates were worried about police attitude towards Chinese people, especially since the Morecambe Bay incident. Chinese people in the UK are, indeed, a minority within minorities. Public perception of UK Chinese population is that of an affluent and generally law-abiding group. This may be a misconception. An obvious misconception, however, is the view that UK
Chinese people are a homogeneous group. The 2001 census recorded a total of 156,900 Chinese people living in the UK. Around 26% of this group is UK-born, with almost as many again from Hong Kong. Others come from Malaysia, Vietnam, Singapore, Mainland China and other parts of the world. The majority of studies on racist crimes in the UK had been on the experiences of the Black African Caribbean population. In recent years, there has been a significant shift to the experiences of people of South Asian origins, and refugees and asylum seekers from Eastern European and Middle-Eastern countries. In UK official crime statistics, the small numbers of Chinese offenders and victims are classified under an “Other” category, with other small minorities and those whose ethnic origins are unknown. This makes it difficult to appreciate the true nature of the victimisation of Chinese people or the extent of their criminality. No study has yet singled out Chinese people and explored their experiences either as victims or offenders in the UK criminal justice system. The bulk of the studies on Chinese people in the UK had been on their experiences of discrimination and marginalisation, for example, with regard to access to health and welfare provisions.

(To Be Continued)

  Full Report Download Here.  

LCCA 2007/2008

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