Gwent Police back new action plan which aims to tackle racism and discrimination
Gwent Police has given its backing to the new Police Race Action Plan released by the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) and the College of Policing yesterday.
The plan aims to tackle discrimination, address unfairness in the way black people are treated, and boost the number of black officers and staff.
Black people are nine times more likely to be stopped and searched than white people, and five times more likely to have force used upon them.
Confidence levels in the police stand at around 64% among black communities, falling to 54% among black Caribbean people, compared with an average of 74%.
In the foreword to the plan, written by head of professional body the College of Policing Chief Constable Andy Marsh and senior responsible officer for the plan Chief Constable Sir Dave Thompson, the pair said they are “ashamed” of racism among officers.
“We accept that policing still contains racism, discrimination and bias,” they said.
“We are ashamed of those truths, we apologise for them and we are determined to change them. We have much to do to secure the confidence of black people, including our own staff, and improve their experience of policing – and we will.”
Gwent Police says it is fully committed to implementing the plan locally, with many of the aspects of plan outlined already underway 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 Pam Kelly, who is the national lead for culture and workforce of the Race Action Plan said: “Gwent Police has a strong commitment to valuing difference and encouraging inclusivity and one of the ways that we can ensure we deliver a service that meets the needs of the public is to have a workforce that reflects our communities.
“With a Black, Asian, and minority ethnic (BAME) population estimated at 3.9% of the Gwent population we are working to build on our current 3.5% BAME representation among our police officers, with a higher representation in other staff groups.
“Through our dedicated positive action team, these new officers will be supported by our positive action team, along with mentoring opportunities, to ensure their experience with our force continues to not only be a positive one but also to ensure that future opportunities are available.
“Policing is more inclusive, more diverse and more reflective of our communities than we have ever been but equally it still contains racism, discrimination and bias. We are entrusted with powers on behalf of the public and as such, we must ensure that they are used in a fair and just way that secures trust from all communities.”
“While we serve a small community, it is even more important that we become an actively anti-racist organisation that Black people can trust.
“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.”
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