A new research project examining Nottinghamshire Police’s relationship with the county’s black and ethnic minority community is to be made public for the first time today (Monday, 15 July 2013).
The study was commissioned by Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner Paddy Tipping, as he promised before his election last November, to evaluate perceptions of policing among BME residents and how effective the Force is in addressing the issues which matter to the county’s diverse population.
Commissioner Tipping has already pledged in his Police and Crime Plan to give BME communities a stronger voice in policing and to promote fairness. One of the aims of the research is to build greater trust so that more BME residents feel confident to report crime.
The three-month study was led by Professor Cecile Wright, from the University of Nottingham’s school of sociology and social policy, and looked in detail at a range of indicators including victim satisfaction rates, recruitment figures within Nottinghamshire Police and the force’s stop and search statistics.
Within the report Professor Wright is expected to acknowledge examples of excellent police work, but emphasise that there is room for improvement in the way the public and police engage with and relate to each other.
It is anticipated that she will recommend the introduction of an action plan to tackle hate crime and a supervision system whereby the performance of police officers and PCSOs is regularly monitored to observe how they execute their duties.
Professor Wright is also expected to recommend a review of the Force’s Stop and Search strategy, weighing up its value as a crime detection measure against the negative impact on community relations, and to introduce more effective diversity training to all employees.
Commissioner Tipping said: “I’m very much looking forward to receiving the report and gaining a clearer insight into issues which are presently isolating BME communities from policing. This project was commissioned so that corrective action can be taken to restore confidence and trust in the Force from the perspective of our BME residents and I am very keen to see the recommendations set out in Professor Wright’s report.
“We’ve already made good progress in our pursuit of equality and fairness, particularly around community engagement and I am very grateful to the efforts of Cecile and her team for their hard work. It is clear that more needs to be done and the pace of improvement is likely to quicken with this research to draw on for guidance.”
Chief Constable Chris Eyre said: “We want to provide the very best policing service to the people of Nottinghamshire and to do that it is absolutely essential that the public have trust and confidence in us.
“One of the ways we can do that is to increase our understanding of the different communities we serve so we can identify issues and concerns that they have and work together to resolve them.
“This report gives us an insight into the experiences some members of our BME communities have had with policing. The Commissioner is right that we should do all we can to replace negative perceptions of the police with positive experiences.
“I believe the force has made huge strides both in acknowledging and addressing the concerns of our minority communities and in strengthening our engagement and relationships over recent years. We are committed to building on these foundations to increase the representation of minorities within the Force, engaging with our communities to address their concerns and ensuring that all communities are protected from crime.
Professor Wright added: “I am extremely pleased that Commissioner Tipping has given members of the black and minority ethnic community this opportunity to have a louder voice in the way policing is delivered.
“I’m looking forward to presenting our findings to the Commissioner, when I will be able to highlight areas where we feel that progress has already been made and explain where I feel that change or improvement is necessary. It’s important that relationships between the police and all local communities are based on mutual trust, confidence and understanding and I believe that the recommendations in my report will support the work already underway.”
Media enquiries: Sallie Blair, 01283 821012 / 07702 541401
Posted on Monday 15th July 2013