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Mistrust from black communities hurts policing ability, warns NPCC


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Chair of the National Police Chiefs' Council says the black community's trust in the police is essential for law enforcement to function effectively.


National Police Chiefs' Council chair Martin Hewitt

Date - 29th March 2021
By - Chloe Livadeas

Martin Hewitt, NPCC chair, said trust and confidence in policing was 20 per cent lower in the black population compared with the average, as he highlighted the need to boost the number of black recruits in forces.

The figure was taken from the national Crime Survey for England and Wales 2019 survey.

At 76 per cent the confidence rate among those identifying as black African is higher than the national average (75 per cent), but the lowest rates of confidence are all within other black communities: 56 per cent black Caribbean respondents, 58 per cent Mixed White/Black Caribbean, 61 per cent black other.

Mr Hewitt said trust and confidence was important for people to come forward and report crime and engage with officers, and could also lead to “young black men and women saying I’m prepared to go and become a police officer”.

“This is not about political correctness. This is not about ‘wokeism’ or whatever anyone else wants to call it,” he told the Guardian.

“This is about legitimate policing. Legitimate policing has to be legitimate for all the communities, and that includes the black community.”

Labour’s shadow justice secretary David Lammy has said Mr Hewitt is “exactly right” about the damaging effect distrust in British policing in black communities is having on the effectiveness of law enforcement.

Mr Lammy described trust in the police as “low” among black, Asian and minority ethnic populations, saying it is “20 per cent less in our justice system than in it is in white populations”.

Following the death of George Floyd in the US and the protests that followed, the NPCC said it would develop a plan of action to address racial inequalities in policing.

The Plan of Action on Inclusion and Race will be led by Sir Dave Thompson, NPCC Vice Chair and Chief Constable of West Midlands Police.  

It will be focused on three workstreams, each led by the NPCC Lead: Internal culture and inclusivity, Use of powers and Community Engagement.

It said an independent scrutiny and oversight board will be established with members “who can draw on a range of experiences to challenge and scrutinise us”.

Mr Hewitt said the final action plan would await the approval of the chair of the new scrutiny board, who would be recruited from outside policing.

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I read this and they perhaps need to look at the statistics again. If the black communities have such a spread of opinions on police perhaps the issue isn't racism on the part of the police but a cultural issue with some of the communities.

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I bet politicians and journalists would be happy with a 58% approval rating let alone 75%, but no instead that is seen as something particularly bad, where we are vilified for doing our jobs and trying to disrupt criminal activity.  I'm sure that there are some things that we can do better but equally we wouldn't need to stop and search so many IC3 males in inner city areas if young black men weren't being killed by other young black men at a disproportionate rate.  

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