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Black focus means Race Action Plan 'not delivering' for Leicester

Leicestershire PCC Rupert Matthews described the plan as a 'huge disappointment'

The NPCC Race Action Plan is "not delivering" for Leicester because of its focus on police relationships with the Black community, it has been claimed.

This plan, which is due to be updated in December, aims to implement measures that both improve proportionality within police ranks and ensure Black people and communities are not over-policed or under-protected. 

However, Leicestershire Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Rupert Matthews doesn't believe this plan helps a city like Leicester where the "vast majority" of those from ethnic minority backgrounds are from the Indian subcontinent.

He said: "My worry is that what’s going to happen now is that the NPCC are going to do a little tick box and say, ‘right, we’ve done the race thing - now we don’t need to bother about all the other races’, because this [the action plan] has only been about the black community.”

Referencing the recent disorder in the city, PCC Matthews told the 2022 APCC and NPCC Partnership Summit that he needs "good, practical, sensible advice" about engaging with Indian subcontinent communities.

"This action plan does nothing of that," he argued, adding: "Personally, I thought this [the action plan] was a huge disappointment – I was expecting a lot more."

Acknowledging his concern, NPCC programme director Tyron Joyce welcomed PCC Matthews' reaction.

"I’m really pleased you’re disappointed in the plan, because there’s things we need to do," he said.

"And if we’ve got voices like yours that aren’t just saying it needs to be more, but telling us what it needs to be...I think that’s a great thing."

Stressing that the action plan is "meant to generate debate", the Temporary Deputy Chief Constable for West Yorkshire Police explained its rationale.

"The reason why this was a Black Race Action Plan is whilst we’ve got problems with trust and confidence amongst many communities, we’re at an all-time low with the Black community."

T/DCC Joyce previously told Police Oracle that some people want to centre the argument around institutional racism because it "avoids very difficult consideration" of some of the underlying problems.

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