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

Interview: Race Action Plan update

Following the publication of consultation results for the Police Race Action plan, Police Oracle spoke with Programme Director DCC Tyron Joyce on what has already changed as a result of work in this area.

Changes to the PEQF, a mentoring scheme and a National Data Transparency Strategy are among initiatives already underway ahead of the publication of the finalised Race Action Plan this Spring.

Following the recent publication of consultation results, Police Oracle spoke with Programme Director DCC Tyron Joyce on the changes that UK policing is already seeing as a result of the programme.

Over the past few months the College of Policing has made adaptations to the PEQF curriculum to ensure it introduces key messages for officers right at the entry point to the service. 

The changes mean the curriculum now specifically includes issues around race, racism, anti-racism and prejudice. The content is embedded within the normal training rather than taking the form of a stand alone module.

The aim is to ensure students/probationers understand the history of policing the Black community, community trauma and bias. 

For DCC Joyce, there are opportunities for specific inputs on race and racism, but given that the basis of this plan is about delivery of core policing the fact of embedding the content within other areas of training “reinforces that this is just about giving you the tools to do your job […] that it’s normal daily business”.

Meanwhile, for individuals at the other end of their career, a mentoring scheme is in the process of being developed. A pilot has seen Black executives outside of policing providing peer mentoring for chief officers. The idea is that this will then be extended to other ranks as well.

DCC Joyce said: “We see this is an exchange of ideas and supportive challenge.

“The principles are that everybody has blind spots and it's really useful for fellow executives to understand the challenges in policing and suggest different ways of delivering solutions.

“At every stage of this plan we’re seeking to involve the community so police forces have given returns to date on how they feel their relationship with the Black community is and what efforts they're making to reach out to the Black community.”

Other actions relate more directly to collating data and continuing to build up a national picture.

An incoming National Data Transparency Strategy, recently approved at Chief’s Council, will ensure consistency of recording of ethnicity data across key data sets (including stop and search, HR, recruitment and retention).

DCC Joyce explained that historically within the service, policing has focused on collating data when people come in and when they leave.

What he wants to see is a move to “track the experience of our Black staff throughout their policing career”.

He said:“Up until we actually started this work there wasn't any clarity about how many Black staff we have at each rank across the country and what their level of service is. As a multi-billion pound industry that’s not acceptable.”

It’s not only internal data being worked on - there are a number of “ice-breaker forces” who have been trialling the recording of s.163 stops. It’s not a new idea and has been done previously.

For example, a six month Met pilot in 2021 (which ran for one week per month) concluded that an insufficient data set balanced with the impact on officer-public interactions (along with officer time) meant it was not worth extending.

However, the force has since committed to working with the Race Action Plan on work to record ethnicity at traffic stops.

DCC Joyce said that the difference with this pilot is a wider data set. With data from four forces as well as academic input - a dataset has been developed that will soon be given out to forces. Pronto database has been used – meaning it should be easy for forces to implement.

The intention is that this will form part of the annual data review.

On concerns over officer time, DCC Joyce said it had not been an issue with the new pilot.

The Race Action Plan has not passed through to this stage without criticism. In particular, concerns have previously been voiced over the focus on the plan on Black communities, rather than all ethnic minorities.

DCC Joyce explained: “The plan represents a moment in time, where policing acknowledged that out of all of the challenges in terms of our communities confidence the greatest was in the Black community.

“In forces across the country where they have implemented the plan […] where they're implementing changes in stop and search and oversight, where they're considering the recruitment and retention of their staff - they're not just focusing just on black communities so that the benefits for policing are far wider than that.”

Meanwhile, a website is currently being developed that will feature dashboards to update on the plan’s progress and the Independent Scrutiny and Oversight Panel “will be with us as long as there’s a race action plan [to work on]”.

“I get frustrated when people perceive that this is just for a moral argument or just because of a necessity for diversity. This is just us delivering the oath of allegiance that we all take when we join the service. This is about better service. This is about improved confidence. This is about targeting criminals,” DCC Joyce said.

The Race Action Plan was launched for independent scrutiny in June last year. Public consultation results have since been collated and published.

With over 5,000 responses, DCC Joyce has said it was “one of the biggest surveys in policing history”.

The survey has been designed as a stepping stone towards ensuring changes made are measurable. 

Responses have shown that 30% of respondents were “confident” the plan would address racial bias towards Black people in policing, 38% “not confident” and the remainder were undecided.

Those who were Black or had Black heritage were consistently less confidence in the plan than White respondents but positive comments were received by respondents on each of the commitments in the plan and overall.

Among the more critical comments were mentions of the challenge of facilitating change, cultural barriers and the likely impact of the plan.

DCC Joyce said he was “not surprised at the level of anxiety and cautious optimism”, adding that until people see evidence of significant change, they would be right to be sceptical.


Leave a Comment
View Comments 7
In Other News
Race Action Programme shouldn't replicate hierarchical structure seen in policing
Commitment to the Race Action Plan is inconsistent says scrutiny Chair
Women of Colour in Policing launch career development programme
Promotion and diversity: 'focus on practical as well as aspirational'
Black focus means Race Action Plan 'not delivering' for Leicester
NBPA Chair: “The environment is toxic at the minute”
Interview: DCC Tyron Joyce on the Race Action Plan
More News