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Anti-racism action plan launched for Criminal Justice in Wales

The action plan sets out seven commitments across the sector, including to challenge racism, educate the workforce and promote fairness.

Criminal Justice in Wales has this week launched its new Anti-Racism Action Plan which sets out commitments for partners across the sector to tackle racism.

It comes as forces across the UK launch their own individual commitments under the NPCC Race Action Plan which is currently in a consultation phase before it is updated in December. This overarching Welsh plan will not replace those published by individual Welsh forces.

Criminal Justice in Wales also announced the introduction of a new Independent Oversight and Advisory Panel which will oversee the progress of the plan.

The panel will comprise 12 members from across the country.

The plan outlines that in 2020-21 there were 3,052 race hate crimes in Wales – representing a 16 per cent increase from the previous year, and 66 per cent of all hate crimes recorded across the country that year.

It further said that young ethnic minority people make up 53 per cent of those remanded in custody.

Seven commitments have been set out which include to build an ethnically diverse workforce and to be transparent, accountable an co-ordinated.

On the former commitment, positive action is expected be used on all levels and in all areas, with targets of representation being set.

A new framework to promote recruitment, selection, retention and progressions of an ethnically diverse workforce will also be developed for the whole Justice System.

The framework will also promote anti-racism and cultural competency education.

Meanwhile, individual organisations’ policies/strategies and training will be mapped in a bid to share good practice and identify gaps.

Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner for South Wales Emma Wools who lead the work for the plan said: “I understand and share the frustration from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic people at the lack of change to date, coupled with a denial in the past that change was needed. I am therefore determined to use this plan and my position to ensure people who use the Criminal Justice System do not experience racism in any form.

“My criminal justice colleagues and I were clear from the outset that this plan was to be written with, and delivered for, minority ethnic people across Wales.  We upheld this commitment, engaging with over 600 individuals throughout its development and I am confident that we now have a plan that is honest, transparent and accountable to our communities.” 

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