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Thames Valley Police promises to have zero tolerance of racism in future

The force is developing a local action plan to stamp out racism and boost black police recruitment.

Chief constables across England and Wales are drawing up action plans, in a bid to tackle discrimination and provide better support for black victims of crime.

Police chiefs say they're ashamed of racism in the service - and have promised to have zero tolerance in the future.

Nationally, black people are nine times more likely to be stopped and searched than white people, they also have significantly lower than average rates of confidence in their police force.

In a foreword to the Police Race Action Plan, head of professional body the College of Policing Chief Constable Andy Marsh and West Midlands Police Chief Constable Sir Dave Thompson, the senior officer responsible for the project, said the murder of George Floyd in America provided a “catalyst for the expression of deep concerns about the social injustice experienced by black people”, and policing has a “difficult history in its relationships with black communities”.

They said: “We accept that policing still contains racism, discrimination and bias. 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. We will be held to account and we welcome scrutiny.

“We hope that, in the future, we will be seen as the institutionally anti-racist organisation we want to be, because we took action and delivered on our promise to change.”

The 57-page plan intends to make the police service “anti-racist”, one which condemns “overt racist behaviour” and wants officers to be “trusted by black people”.

Here, Thames Valley Police welcomed the launch of the Police Race Action Plan and outlined the work already underway to improve trust and confidence in the force.

TVP's local plan is led by led by Assistant Chief Constable Dennis Murray QPM, who is also the founder and chair of the National Diversity and Inclusion Policing Consortium.

Key actions:

  • Thames Valley Police is drafting a localised approach, weaving national themes into a local delivery plan. The actions within the plan will include and enhance the experiences of all ethnically diverse colleagues in our approach to be an anti-racist service. 
  • Thames Valley Police has a Diversity and Inclusion Board to monitor the progress it is making in delivering an inclusive environment for all its people and provision of an equitable service for all.
  • Thames Valley Police is committed to engaging with and listening to the views, concerns and issues of those who live, work, study or visit the region and have a range of ways that enable us to hear the public voice and one of the most useful is the Independent Advisory Groups (IAG).
  • Following a successful two-year pilot started in 2019, Thames Valley Police has further invested in its Positive Action and Engagement Team (PAET). The team was set up as the force recognised a need to encourage and support Black, Asian and Ethic Minority communities to consider a career within policing and improve representation to reflect the diverse communities it serves.
  • Thames Valley Police has a number of very active staff support networks; including faith-based groups, the Thames Valley Women's Network and a recently launched Men's Forum. One of our most active networks is SAME or the Support Association for Minority Ethnic staff.

ACC Murray said: "The service we provide to our communities and the environment we create for our people must be actively anti-racist, anti-discriminatory and inclusive for all.

"Thames Valley Police is more inclusive, more diverse and more reflective of our communities than we have ever been, however we must not be complacent. We need to ensure we have a consistent approach that turns our intent into action in ensuring that Thames Valley Police is, and remains, an actively anti-discriminatory organisation. 

"We are fully committed to the national Race Action Plan. While it focuses on Black communities, we recognise our Thames Valley communities are diverse and they are also affected by some of the same issues.

"Over the coming months, we will be reaching out to our seldom-heard communities and creating meaningful relationships to inform our work to improve the service we provide."

A public survey launching today will enable anyone with expertise or an interest in race in policing to share their views and shape this important work.

 

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