Police Race Action Plan: improving policing for Black people
The Police Race Action Plan (‘the plan’) sets out the changes policing intends to achieve to improve outcomes for Black people working within or interacting with policing.
The plan has been developed jointly by the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) and the College of Policing with input from stakeholders, including the National Black Police Association (NBPA), the Independent Scrutiny and Oversight Board (ISOB) Chair, and the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners (APCC).
The NPCC and College of Policing will continue to test and refine the activity set out in the plan with stakeholders, so they are best able to achieve the outcomes and have clear timeframes for delivery.
The Plan may change and iterate based on the scrutiny and engagement being undertaken. Further iterations of the plan will be published as this work and implementation takes place.
We aim to share the second iteration in Spring 2023. The iterative work already started to achieve the outcomes set out in the Plan will continue.
It has the commitment of all 43 chief constables in England and Wales and is being led by Deputy Chief Constable, Tyron Joyce.
The plan is our response to events in the UK that have highlighted longstanding issues of racial inequality within policing. For example:
- there is a 20% gap in confidence in policing between Black Caribbean communities and the general population – the gap is historic and widening
- Black people experience policing powers disproportionately – for example, they are seven times more likely to be stopped and searched than White people
- Black people experience disproportionate negative outcomes across the criminal justice system, including as victims
- there is a significant lack of representation of Black officers and staff, particularly in senior ranks
- many Black officers and staff are dissatisfied, with specific concerns about culture, retention, support to progress and misconduct processes
On the basis of these disparities and historically lower rates of trust and confidence in policing, our immediate focus is on the experiences and concerns of Black people. We are working to ensure fairness and inclusion for other minority or under-represented groups.
An inclusive police service, drawing on the talents and trust of all communities, is better equipped to protect the public.
Our vision is for a police service that is anti-racist and trusted by Black people.
An anti-racist police service requires us to proactively tackle racial disparities in policing – not to exacerbate racial disparities that may exist elsewhere in society – and to be continually aware of and address issues of race and racism.
Zero tolerance of racism in policing
- Policing will adopt an ‘explain or reform’ approach to address the negative impact and outcomes experienced by Black people.
- Policing will ensure that officers and staff understand the history of policing Black people and the ongoing impact and trauma of disproportionality
- The development of a representative workforce.
- Policing will increase the involvement of Black communities in its work and improve support to Black victims of crime.
We will deliver these core commitments through the actions set out across four areas of work which seek to ensure the following.
- Black people and communities are properly represented within policing, with an internal culture that promotes inclusivity and supports their development and progression.
- Black people and communities are respected and treated in a fair and equitable way.
- Black people and communities are routinely involved in the governance of policing.
- Black people are protected and properly supported as victims of crime and as vulnerable groups.
Each of these areas of work, have distinct programmes and delivery plans. They are each led by senior officers from across the service, who will continue to be responsible for delivery of actions across them
Updated August 2022
- We have published the first iteration of the plan and started a period of engagement and scrutiny.
- The ISOB Chair, Barrister Abimbola Johnson is in post and has recruited the ISOB Board. The ISOB will deliver police leaders’ commitment to robust external oversight to shape, check and challenge the race action plan.
- We have established a programme board and stakeholder group, with the NBPA as a core part of both.
- Working with the NBPA we have launched a national survey for Black police officers and staff to understand their experiences within policing. The survey will be run annually and will be used to inform ongoing actions against the race action plan.
- We have undertaken research in key areas, such as barriers to recruitment, community trauma and behavioural change, to inform priority areas.
- We are supporting the Police Uplift Programme to ensure that the recruitment of 20,000 new police officers is representative of the communities we serve, including increasing the numbers of Black police officers.
- Black history, currently part of the College of Policing police officer training curriculum, will be rolled out to other key areas of learning and development.
- We have agreed national data standards with the Home Office on the use of stop and search, use of force, and use of Taser. This will ensure consistency across forces and allow the public to see how, where, and who the powers are used against and to prompt scrutiny where disparity exists.
The outcomes framework will ensure all our actions contribute to creating an anti-racist police service. It sets out the aims of the programme and has been informed by community and internal consultation. It may be developed further in consultation with the ISOB.
We are responsible for making sure that Black people feel:
- A police service that protects Black people from crime, and seeks justice for Black victims.
- Making sure Black people feel, and are, safer.
- Reducing Black victimisation, especially of hate crime and serious youth violence.
- Reducing the harm caused by the crime and disorder experienced by Black people, particularly by the most vulnerable.
- Treating Black victims and witnesses better, understanding their needs and vulnerabilities.
- Improving the quality and outcome of our investigations for Black victims.
- Taking clearer action to tackle far-right extremism and racist violence.
- Improving how we prevent, and respond to, the crime and disorder concerns of Black communities, particularly of young people.
- Helping Black communities to address local crime and disorder problems.
- Actively supporting services that make a difference to young Black people’s lives, and reduce the need for us to be involved later on
A police service that is fair, respectful and equitable in its actions towards Black people.
- Eliminating any racial bias, stereotyping, profiling or discrimination in our actions.
- Treating Black people as individuals, and taking account of their needs, vulnerabilities, experiences and circumstances, such as trauma.
- Approaching racial disparities in our actions as problems in themselves, regardless of their causes, because of their impact on Black people.
- Minimising any harms we inadvertently cause, because of their differential impact on Black people.
- Reducing the risk of criminalising Black people by ensuring that they benefit from early action, prevention and diversion
A police service that routinely involves Black people in its governance.
- Accepting the impact of historic policing practice, which has led to community trauma and distrust of the police.
- Understanding the frustrations of Black people about the slow speed of change.
- Responding to community trauma and reconciling police and community divisions.
- Involving Black people in our oversight and scrutiny processes proactively and as a matter of course.
- Making sure that Black people:
– can influence our decisions at different stages in the process
– are able to voice their opinions, to which we listen and take into account
– receive timely and meaningful information from us about our decisions and how we reached them
– have opportunities to review our decisions and have appropriate means of redress
– are treated with dignity and respect
A police service that is representative of Black people, and supports its Black officers, staff and volunteers.
- Eliminating any racial bias, stereotyping, profiling or discrimination from our policies, procedures, processes and practices.
- Approaching racial disparities in the police as problems in themselves, regardless of their causes, because of their impact on our Black officers, staff and volunteers.
- Making sure that Black people:
– are encouraged and well-prepared to apply for police roles
– submit good applications
– are not disadvantaged in the process
– are assessed fairly
– are able to develop and progress, including to the most senior levels
– have their individual needs met
– are listened to and have influence
– have good experiences in the workplace
– feel valued and want to stay in the police
- 24th May – Police Race Action Plan: Improving policing for Black people?published in its first iteration. The public survey on the plan will launch.
- May - October – the Plan will be subject to engagement and scrutiny from a wide range of stakeholders, and feedback will be analysed, considered, and publicly reported upon.
- The Independent Scrutiny and Oversight Board (ISOB), chaired by Barrister Abimbola Johnson will scrutinise the Plan and the approach to delivery.
- Work will be undertaken to determine timeframes for delivery of the actions.
- 28th August - The public survey on plan closes
- Spring 2023 – the second iteration of the Plan will be published, containing further delivery detail.
Dates for final sign off and publication of the Plan may change, depending on the extent of changes required after consultation and scrutiny from the ISOB. We will update the timeline as this develops
Tell us your views
We welcome all views, both from inside and outside of policing.
You can get in touch by email at email@example.com
If you work in policing, you can share your views through:
- our staff association (all of the staff associations can feed into our stakeholder group)
- your force's equality diversity and inclusion leads or officers
- email us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org