Crown Prosecution Service To Review The Use Of Drill Lyrics As Evidence In Court

Crown Prosecution Service To Review The Use Of Drill Lyrics As Evidence In Court

January 26, 2022

The UK's Crown Prosecution Service is reconsidering its use of drill music as evidence in criminal trials following the BBC study of prosecutions across the UK. Academics and defence lawyers have voiced their concerns about its hindrance to a fair trial for defendants who are often Black men and boys.

Despite these findings, the CPS have said they are unaware of cases where drill has been misused as evidence and their current guidance for prosecutors states that gangs are "increasingly using drill music and social media to promote gang culture, glamorise the gang lifestyle and the use of weapons. They may post videos online that seek to taunt rivals, incite violence or glamorise criminality."

The statement goes on, but now the CPS are considering completing a 'listening exercise' to properly unpack how trials can be affected by their prejudice towards the genre and stereotyping youths who use this type of music as a form of expression. The 'listening exercise' will be completed with help from youth groups, barristers, civil campaigners, and academics.

Pythian Club youth worker Nick Frederici, who will also take part in the 'listening exercise', believes there have been some detrimental misconceptions of the drill genre. He says "drill is just the youth expressing themselves. Drill doesn't cause crime in deprived areas. It's poverty, it's envy, it's so many other things going on, underlying issues."

Similarly, in the US Jay-Z is pushing for a change in New York law known as the Rap Music on Trial Bill, which would make it a lot harder for rap lyrics to be used as evidence in court.

Words: Blessing Borode
Image via WikiCommons