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Commissioner wants research into BME policing experience

Simon-Nicholas_Paddy-Tipping_Safdar-Azam_Mr-Khan

(Left to right) Ch Supt Simon Nickless, Commissioner Paddy Tipping, Safdar Azam (Chair of the IAG) and Ch Supt Ak Khan.

Police and Crime Commissioner Paddy Tipping is to commission a major research project aimed at strengthening the force’s relationship with the black and ethnic minority community.

Mr Tipping, who was elected as Commissioner last month, will invite a panel of experts to bid for the three-month research contract which will examine a range of performance data including BME (black minority ethnic) victim satisfaction rates, recruitment figures within Nottinghamshire Police and the force’s stop and search statistics.

The announcement was made last night (5 December) at a meeting of the force’s Independent Advisory Group (IAG) and follows Mr Tipping’s election campaign pledge to give BME communities a stronger voice in policing and promote fairness.

National research indicates that Black, Asian and people from minority ethnic groups are more likely to be disproportionately searched than white people by the police. In Nottinghamshire, figures show BME communities are subject to higher levels of stop and search and also have less representation within the Force in employment.

The use of stop and search powers are a legitimate tactic for the police to tackle serious crime but they can have a significant impact on public confidence in policing when they are not effective. The research project, which is budgeted to cost around £10,000, aims to understand the reasons behind the disproportion and will deliver a series of recommendations for improvement which will help the Commissioner drive forward change.

“It has long been recognised that disproportionality exists in stop and search yet we are still no further forward in addressing the psychology behind the figures and moving towards more effective policing tactics based wholly on evidence,” said Mr Tipping.

“I have worked for many years with black and Asian communities in the city and county and understand their frustration at the pace of change which is why I made my commitment to tackling issues of under representation in policing clear from the outset.

“I want to provide a fair and equal policing service that embraces our diverse county and reflects this in both the workforce and our approach to fighting crime. BME communities need to have a stronger voice within policing and will be instrumental in our ability to change and promote confidence.

“This project is one of my first tasks as Nottinghamshire’s new Commissioner and I am delighted that it can be put into action so quickly. I hope our black and ethnic communities feel reassured that their concerns are being tackled at the highest level.”

Chief Constable Chris Eyre said: “I made a commitment to address concerns expressed to me by community leaders on the issue of stop and search when I became chief constable.

“We have done an enormous amount of work around understanding our use of stop and search, doing more to build trust and confidence in our communities and looking for new ways to ensure it is used effectively, yet appropriately.

“Earlier this year the force invited the National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA) to review our use of the powers. Their findings have been fed into a force improvement programme. We also voluntarily notified the Equalities Commission of our work as part of our commitment to openness and transparency.

“Procedures have been reviewed and amended, all operational officers have received new training and we have invested in technology to improve the recording of stop and search powers.”

Mr Eyre added: “While a great deal has been done over recent months the force is absolutely committed to giving an exceptional service to all the communities we serve. I am committed to working with Paddy as he commissions further work on police relations with minority communities. Our collective ambition to make Nottinghamshire Police the finest force in the country can only be achieved by constantly seeking to improve our service to our communities.

View Consultancy Tendering Brief - 'Exploring and Improving BME Policing Experiences'

Read letter of invitation  

Posted on Thursday 6th December 2012
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