We are currently experiencing network problems with the desktop version of Police Oracle. We hope to have these resolved as soon as possible.

NPCC Race Action Plan accepts policing “contains racism”

Following two years of work, the plan has been launched today for independent scrutiny before it is updated in December.

In the foreword to the plan, written by West Midlands CC Sir David Thompson, and College CEO Andy Marsh, the report says: “We accept that policing still contains racism, discrimination and bias. We are ashamed of those truths, we apologise for them and we are determined to change them.” 

The plan sets out a number of commitments and actions designed to make the police service “anti-racist”. 

To date only two black officers have reached the rank of chief constable or assistant commissioner. 

The proportion of black officers has barely increased over the past decade, from 1 per cent in 2010, to 1.3 per cent now, whereas black people make up 3.5 per cent of the wider population. 

Under the plan, every force in England and Wales will need to review their policies, procedures and practices, embedding an "anti-racist stance."

The aims are to ensure black people and communities are properly represented within policing, not over-policed, routinely involved in the governance of policing and not under-protected. 

A number of changes are proposed within the plan, including a mandatory training programme for all officers to understand the history of policing Black people, targeted mentoring and talent development programmes to promote progression of black officers and staff.

There is also a commitment from the College of Policing to establish an advisory group comprising members of black heritage.

Funding for the central team that will put the plan in place between the College and the NPCC is estimated at around £2.5m, although it was acknowledged that the entire cost of delivery would be much higher than that.  

Andy Marsh added: "[We also need to think of] the cost of not doing this [...] the cost of preventable murders and tragedies, the cost of employment tribunals, cost of lost talent."

He also said that most of the things in the plan would be things they would do anyway, the plan just means they are doing them differently.

The plan proposes an “explain or reform” approach, saying that “where disparity cannot be explained, the expectation is that it should be changed.” 

“Some of [the] most contentious powers” will now be under public scrutiny with a national approach to be agreed for recording, analysis and scrutiny of powers such as s.163, the use of force and using taser. 

Chiefs yesterday insisted that the plan was not about “being woke or politically correct” and when quizzed on how they would ensure every officer would buy-in to the plan, Sir Dave Thompson said the “position is non-negotiable for the service”. 

“If you come to the plan with pre-set beliefs, then you’ll find something to criticise about it I’m sure… this plan is about good policing,” he added.  

Andy Marsh said people enter policing to make a difference and that he did not anticipate problems “if we come at it from the point of view that we want to help and equip officers and staff to do a brilliant job, to meet the needs of communities and keep them safe.” 

Both officers refused to say whether policing is institutionally racist during a briefing with journalists yesterday, with Andy Marsh saying “We’re here to talk about what we are going to do and how we will make things better.” 

Chair of the Independent Scrutiny and Oversight Board Abimbola Johnson said: “If the plan is labelled as woke, it means it’s moving in the right direction. 

“I want to see a de-escalation in reaction to labels like woke, I want to see policing thinking about what that definition actually means. 

“This in an interim plan, it’s the police’s first attempt at putting something on paper. 

“This needs to be a dynamic, living plan.”

Leave a Comment
View Comments 17
In Other News
Search for successor to NPCC chair Martin Hewitt begins
Police Scotland advised to roll out equality training for all staff
New commissioner must accept “extent of Met's cultural problems”
Interview: DCC Tyron Joyce on the Race Action Plan
Recruiting pool for chief constables must widen, says PCC
Merseyside chief clashes with PCC over “institutionally racist” comments
‘Banter’ and hate speak: inside Operation Hotton
More News