Police Race Action Plan – Improving policing for black people
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South Wales Police fully supports a new national Police Race Action Plan published today which sets out a number of commitments to help build an anti-racist police service.
The plan contains a number of commitments to embed zero-tolerance to racism in policing, ensure officers and staff understand the history of policing black people and communities, as well as building a more representative workforce and increasing the involvement of black communities in policing and improving support to black victims of crime.
While South Wales Police welcomes the plan and is fully committed to implementing it locally, many of the aspects are already areas in which the force has demonstrated commitment to over many years, including building a more representative workforce and working with the black community on issues such as disproportionality in the use of police powers.
Chief Constable Jeremy Vaughan said:
“Today’s action plan aims to address the race disparities affecting black people within policing which come in many forms and to transform a legacy of distrust in policing.
“The legitimacy and effectiveness of policing the communities of South Wales is built on relationships between the police and the public and I accept that there are challenges in our relationship with black people. We should be trusted to the ends of the earth by all our communities but the data tells us that levels of trust and confidence are significantly lower among some black people and racial disparities exist that we cannot fully explain but are working hard to understand and improve.
“The prevalence of racism in society is irrefutable and the abhorrent racist attitudes of some people in our communities must be stamped out.
“In South Wales we have made a real effort to addressing some of these long-standing issues. For example, our commitment to creating a representative workforce has been in place for eight years in the form of a dedicated team conducting positive action recruitment work and facilitating a leadership development programme open to all minority ethnic staff. It’s been a challenge but are working hard to increase the number of black and minority ethnic people we welcome through our doors.
“With regard to the use of police powers, the work we have undertaken is already having a positive impact on our disproportionality rates but it is a fact that the use of stop and search does affect members of black communities disproportionately. However, we will continue to work hard to understand this and to find further meaningful and effective ways of addressing it. Our disproportionality rates are lower than the UK average and have continued to decreased over the past year.
“Everyone in South Wales Police is proud to police such a modern, multi-cultural region which has a long tradition of strong, diverse communities. As an organisation we have made and continue to make significant investments in training and education, including diversity, equality and inclusivity training, to make sure that the public receive the highest possible standard of service and to ensure that our officers and staff understand topics such as racial disparity, white privilege and disproportionality and to have conversations about what they mean to our communities. As a force we are actively engaged in working with a range of partners on the Welsh Government’s Race Equality Action Plan to create an anti-racist Wales.
“As Chief Constable I have made it clear that I will not tolerate any form of harassment or inappropriate behaviour within the workplace which includes racism. There is no place for anyone in the service who cannot secure the confidence of their colleagues or undermines the public’s trust in policing. We employ over 5,000 people and deal with over 400,000 incidents a year and I know that the vast majority work tirelessly and strive to serve their communities with honesty and integrity demonstrating the very highest levels of professional conduct at all times.
The national Police Race Action Plan can be read here.