NPCC and College of Policing’s Race Action Plan
APCC Equality, Diversity, and Human Rights Leads, Alison Lowe OBE and John Campion respond to the publication of the NPCC and College of Policing’s Race Action Plan: Improving Policing for Black People
“As the public’s voice in policing, Police and Crime Commissioners recognise the critical importance of improving confidence and trust in policing amongst all of our communities – and in particular Black communities, where we know confidence is low. That is why today, we welcome the fresh energy that is now being invested by Chief Constables into a commitment to tackle the disparities faced by Black people in policing and criminal justice.
“We are encouraged that the NPCC and College of Policing will be working with the public on this important issue, and hope there will be widespread engagement to ensure the views of the diverse communities we serve are fully reflected. We additionally welcome the way in which the APCC is being asked to engage by monitoring and scrutinising the progress and outcomes set out in the NPCC and the College’s Plan.
PCCs are committed to ensuring that Black communities can have greater trust and confidence in their local policing service. Making progress locally is crucial, and this will be a matter for each PCC, PFCC, and Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime across England and Wales, working with their Chief Constable. In terms of the actions that PCCs are taking forward with and on behalf of the communities they serve:
“Last year the APCC published a Race Disparity Action Plan setting out a range of actions and measures that PCCs are taking in their local communities to drive forward progress in tackling race disparity in policing and criminal justice and help to tackle the lower levels of confidence that some Black communities have in policing. Everyone involved in policing needs to work tirelessly to improve trust and confidence, and as the voice of the public in policing, PCCs are playing a full and active role in doing this.
“We want to ensure that Black communities have a strong voice in local police services though their directly elected PCC. Through PCC’s engagement programmes, we meet regularly with diverse community groups across our areas, ensuring open and transparent engagement channels. We are proactively engaging and involving Black communities in our independent scrutiny panels; ethics panels; and advisory groups to ensure their voices are listened to and heard.
“PCCs are holding Chief Constables to account for their use of police powers. Data shows that there is disparity in the way that policing uses some powers, such as stop and search, and we are robustly scrutinising local data to ensure that these powers are applied in a proportionate, fair, and transparent way and reporting this back to local communities. Additionally, we are working with the Youth Justice Board to provide PCCs with access to data to help them better understand ethnic disproportionality in the youth justice system so that they can use this data to inform improvements. The APCC has also developed an Equalities Framework to support PCCs to continue to assess and improve their performance in terms of tackling disparities.
“PCCs commission a range of services to support victims of crime and we will continue to do everything we can to ensure these services are delivered effectively to help victims from across our diverse communities to cope and recover after crime. And when it comes to redress, PCCs oversee the complaints process against police officers in our force area to ensure it is delivered in a way that is fair, effective, and transparent. If we see evidence that this is not the case, we hold our Chief Constables to account to ensure improvements are made.
“In addition, we are working closely with our communities to ensure that, as we recruit more police officers and staff, our police service becomes much more representative of the communities we serve.
“PCCs will continue to work tirelessly on this important issue. Further details of our work can be found on the APCC website page: Tackling Race Disparity and Championing Equality & Diversity in Policing and Criminal Justice.”