The NBPA is disappointed in the Government response to the Home Affairs Select Committee (HASC), inquiry into ‘Police Diversity’. Whilst the Select Committee stressed that,
‘Urgent and radical action is needed if the Home Secretary’s ambition, which we share, of all police forces reflecting the ethnic profile of their communities, is to be realised’.
We would describe an increase in BME representation in the Police service in England and Wales, from 2% in 1999 to 5.5% in 2015 as going from appalling to bad.
Furthermore, we are seriously concerned that the focus of the Government response is heavily centred on work targeted at recruiting BME people into the Police. No reference is placed on the very real issues, which BME officers and staff are facing in the UK police service, issues that the NBPA brought to the attention of the HASC through oral and written submissions.
Our concern with the Government response; is that it has emphasised that it will ‘challenge’ the College of Policing, yet it does not identify what mechanisms of accountability it will adopt. Our experience tells us that when it comes to race and policing, challenge without accountability is meaningless.
The only items of substance we can take from the Government response. Is that, it has identified the important role, that Police and Crime Commissioners can play. And stressed the important role of Police leaders people like the Chief Constable for the Metropolis Sir Bernard Hogan Howe. We add to that list, people like the Chief Constables of Avon and Somerset, West Midlands and Bedfordshire; people who are listening to their BME staff and working with the NBPA.
Janet Hills, President of the NBPA said,
“We are not convinced that the Governments response will change the current state of affairs. As a staff support network, we recognise, only too well that a lot more has to be been done than that set out in the Governments response to achieve the required culture change needed to transform policing.
This is why we are going to present our concerns about race and policing to the United Nations Committee for the Elimination for Racial Discrimination. We want to ensure that the Police Service, our service, is the best it can be. A service, which our staff and the communities we serve, trust and have confidence in. ”
Note to Editors
Janet Hills, President of the National Black Police Association gave oral evidence to the Home Affairs Select Committee on 12th April 2016. The NBPA submitted written evidence to the Home Affairs Select Committee. This can be access through the following;
Rt Hon Keith Vaz MP response
Press Queries by text to 07921095262