University of Bedfordshire to host Black youth justice event

The virtual event is free but attendees need to register in advance

Academics and community guests will be taking part in a virtual event on Friday, October 30, as part of the University of Bedfordshire’s Black History Month activities.

Hosted by the School of Applied Social Sciences (SASS), academic speakers will include Dr Suzella Palmer, senior lecturer in criminology, and Dr Tim Bateman, reader in youth justice at the University’s Institute of Applied Social Research.

They will also be joined by a representative of Bedfordshire Police Constabulary and Pat Jennings, Head of Bedfordshire Youth Offending Service.

University ‘Changemakers’ to host Black youth justice event

Dr Fiona Factor, Principal Lecturer in Applied Social Studies, was the driving force behind this event.

She said: “At the end of September I watched my colleague, Dr Suzella Palmer, deliver an excellent contribution to the Annual Scarman Lecture on policing race and criminology in the UK.

"I wanted to find a way to share her contributions with our students as part of our #SASS Changemaker event series – and as it was Black History Month it felt appropriate to bring the two together.

“I’m so grateful that Bedfordshire Police and Youth Offending Service are also contributing alongside our own University experts.

"The relevance of the issues this event will raise and discuss cannot be overstated. It is for all of us to ensure we use our energy to challenge racism in whatever guise it appears.”

Taking place between 11am and 3pm, the guests will be asking the question – 'Do young Black Lives Matter in the criminal justice system?'

During the live-streamed event, Dr Suzella Palmer will be reflecting on her academic and political journey with questions from Hafijur Shuvu, Beds SU’s Vice President of Equality.

Pat Jennings will be discussing disproportionality in youth offending and the service response, and Dr Tim Bateman will be talking about his latest report, The State of Youth Justice.

Detective Inspector Mark Pugh from the Boson team (guns and gangs) at Bedfordshire Police will be discussing the local police response, and students from the University’s School of Applied Social Sciences, including policing students, will also be contributing their thoughts and findings.

The event is free but attendees are required to register in advance via Eventbrite.