Tackling race disparity in policing and the criminal justice system


The Association of Police and Crime Commissioners has set out its latest plan to improve Black communities’ confidence in policing and the criminal justice system.

West Yorkshire Deputy Mayor Alison Lowe, and West Mercia PCC John Campion, are Joint Chairs of the APCC’s Race Disparity Working Group which was established in 2020 following the murder of George Floyd in the USA.

They said: “Our cross-party group’s new Action Plan, published today, seeks to drive progress in tackling race disparity in policing and criminal justice, both locally and nationally, and help to tackle the lower levels of confidence that some Black communities have in policing and criminal justice. We recognise that some of our communities have valid concerns around disproportionate use of Taser, for example.”

The 2021/22 action plan states the APCC Race Disparity Working Group will build on its earlier work by:

  • Engaging and informing PCCs and their offices on race disparity;
  • Engaging with key national stakeholders including charities and voluntary sector groups on race disparity;
  • Interfacing with the Government, the National Police Chiefs’ Council, and other organisations on their work on race disparity; and
  • Engaging with the national media on race disparity.

The APCC has also published an equality framework for PCCs and their offices to follow, based closely on the Local Government Association’s own equality framework.

Welcomed by the Equality and Human Rights Commission, the APCC equality framework is designed to assist PCCs in assessing their current performance in meeting their Public Sector Equality Duty as set out by the Equality Act 2010. It will also help PCCs to hold their Chief Constables to account for meeting their force’s obligations under the Act. A 10 steps summary document highlights some of the key actions from the framework that PCCs can undertake to promote equality in their local communities.

These include:

  • Regularly engaging with diverse communities;
  • Accessing and understanding local data on disproportionality within policing and the criminal justice system; and
  • Commissioning support services which provide specialist help to victims of crimes which particularly affect people with protected characteristics.


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