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New ‘Race Plan’ from Thames Valley Police..

Thames Valley Police has today (24/5) welcomed the launch of the Police Race Action Plan and outlined the work already underway to improve the trust and confidence of its diverse communities, especially its Black communities, and to address any racial disparities in the service.


The national Race Action Plan, from the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) and the College of Policing, sets out the commitment of Chief Constables across England and Wales to become an anti-racist police service and to explain or reform race disparities.


Across England and Wales, the plan aims to address the significantly lower levels of trust and confidence among some Black people and the race disparities affecting Black people that policing cannot currently fully explain. The plan defines anti-racism in policing as tackling racial disparities proactively, accepting them as problems whatever their cause because of the impact they have on Black people.


The plan recognises a lot of work to address racism within policing is underway but, equally, discrimination and bias still exist. Racism, bias and discrimination are societal issues, which clearly go beyond policing. However, policing must go further than being “not racist” and become an actively anti-racist organisation trusted by all.


A public survey launching today will enable anyone with expertise or an interest in race in policing to share their views and shape this important work.


Nationally, we know that:

  • Black people have significantly lower than average rates of confidence in their police force, 64 per cent compared with an average of 74 per cent. Among Black Caribbean people the rate is 54 per cent. This is echoed across public services in the Government’s Inclusive Britain Report.

  • Policing is behind almost every part of the public service as an employer of choice for Black people. Just 1.3% of police officers are Black, compared to 3.5% of the wider population and there have only been two Black officers who have reached the rank of Chief Constable or Assistant Commissioner rank in policing’s history.


Key actions as part of the plan:

  • Increasing the awareness and understanding of every officer and member of staff of anti-racism, Black history and its connection to policing through introduction of a mandatory programme of training for all police officers and staff.

  • Trialling and testing methods for better enabling Black people to have their voices heard, raise concerns, work on solving problems in their community and provide feedback.

  • Developing a new national approach to help forces tackle race disparities in their use of powers including traffic stops; stop and search, use of Taser and other types of force.

  • Reducing racial disparities in misconduct and complaints processes and improving support to Black officers and staff.


Thames Valley Police Race Action Plan

Thames Valley Police is committed to improving the trust and confidence of its diverse communities in Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire through the development and delivery of a local race action plan.

Work is already underway on the Thames Valley Police Race Action Plan, led by Assistant Chief Constable Dennis Murray QPM.


ACC Murray has worked tirelessly throughout his career to improve diversity in policing and to support officers and staff from Black, Asian and Ethnic Minority backgrounds. He is also the founder and chair of the National Diversity and Inclusion Policing Consortium.


Assistant Chief Constable Murray from Thames Valley Police said:


“The service we provide to our communities and the environment we create for our people must be actively anti-racist, anti-discriminatory and inclusive for all.
“Thames Valley Police is more inclusive, more diverse and more reflective of our communities than we have ever been, however we must not be complacent. We need to ensure we have a consistent approach that turns our intent into action in ensuring that Thames Valley Police is, and remains, an actively anti-discriminatory organisation.
“We are fully committed to the national Race Action Plan. While it focuses on Black communities, we recognise our Thames Valley communities are diverse and they are also affected by some of the same issues.
“Over the coming months, we will be reaching out to our seldom-heard communities and creating meaningful relationships to inform our work to improve the service we provide.”

What is happening in the Thames Valley?

  • Thames Valley Police is drafting a localised approach, weaving national themes into a local delivery plan. The actions within the plan will include and enhance the experiences of all ethnically diverse colleagues in our approach to be an anti-racist service.

  • Thames Valley Police has a Diversity and Inclusion Board to monitor the progress it is making in delivering an inclusive environment for all its people and provision of an equitable service for all.

  • Thames Valley Police is committed to engaging with and listening to the views, concerns and issues of those who live, work, study or visit the region and have a range of ways that enable us to hear the public voice and one of the most useful is the Independent Advisory Groups (IAG).

  • Following a successful two-year pilot started in 2019, Thames Valley Police has further invested in its Positive Action and Engagement Team (PAET). The team was set up as the force recognised a need to encourage and support Black, Asian and Ethic Minority communities to consider a career within policing and improve representation to reflect the diverse communities it serves.

  • Thames Valley Police has a number of very active staff support networks; including faith-based groups, the Thames Valley Women’s Network and a recently launched Men’s Forum. One of our most active networks is SAME or the Support Association for Minority Ethnic staff.

Interview Opportunity:

ACC Murray has limited availability for video or phone interviews on Tuesday (24/5) and Wednesday (25/5). To express an interest in an interview slot to discuss the contents of this media release, please contact the Thames Valley Police Media Office on 01865 504657 or email: mediaoffice@thamesvalley.police.uk by 6pm on Monday 23 May.

Further information/Notes to editors

The plan has been developed jointly by the NPCC and the College of Policing with input from individuals and organisations with expertise and an interest in this area, including the National Black Police Association (NBPA), the Independent Scrutiny and Oversight Board (ISOB) Chair, and the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners (APCC).

The Plan may change and iterate based on the scrutiny and engagement being undertaken and we aim to share the second iteration in December 2022.

The link to the feedback survey: https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/PlanFeedback/

Data included:

The Crime Survey of England and Wales shows Black people have significantly lower than average rates of confidence in their police force, 64 per cent compared with an average of 74 per cent. Among Black Caribbean people the rate is 54 per cent.

The Government’s ‘ethnicity facts and figures” shows that Black people are almost nine times more likely to be stopped and searched than White people.

Police ‘use of force statistics’ for England and Wales: April 2020 to March 2021 shows the rate at which we used force was five times higher for people we perceived to be Black.


Credits ; Thames Valley Police

REFERENCES

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