Nottinghamshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Paddy Tipping has received a prestigious award in recognition of his fight for equality within the BME community.
Commissioner Tipping was presented with the 2015 award for Outstanding Contribution to Racial Injustice from Nottingham-based social justice charity Himmah following his work with the organisation to drive forward change in the way police and members of the BME communities interact.
Paramount to his work has been his commitment to address disproportionality within Stop and Search statistics where black and Asian people were more likely to be stopped and searched by police than white people.
The negativity around Stop and Search has impacted on trust between BME communities and the police which has resulted in offences such as hate crime being under-reported. Commissioner Tipping pledge to reverse the tensions upon being elected and commissioned a ground-breaking piece of research to explore perceptions of the police within diverse communities including issues of Stop and Search, police recruitment, police engagement and accountability.
The resulting report, co-authored by Professor Wright, from the University of Nottingham and Sajid Mohammed, co-founder of Himmah, produced 30 recommendations for improvement which are currently being acted upon by the Commissioner’s BME steering group – an organisation he set up on the back of the project.
Congratulating the Commissioner on his award, Mr Mohammed said: “Paddy has shown courageous and principled leadership in the face of challenging budgetary constraints. He made pledges before his election about building trust and confidence within BME communities, which he has done by delivering on key initiatives such as commissioning research, independent training and creating a hate crime post.
“Paddy is thus a worthy winner and we hope to continue the great work being done by working in partnership.”
Himmah is a grassroots community-based organisation which works on issues of poverty, race and educational inequalities within Nottingham. The charity provides direct services in the form of food banks and soup kitchens as well as community engagement initiatives with the purpose of meeting the needs of the wider community.
Mr Tipping has worked alongside Himmah on a number of projects since becoming Commissioner. His relationship with the organisation was instrumental in his decision to introduce robust reform in the police’s use of Stop and Search. A senior officer now reviews every justification for the use of powers of Stop and Search while an external Stop and Search scrutiny panel oversees progress on matters of disproportionality.
External training has also been commissioned to tackle unconscious bias. These measures have resulted in more appropriate use of the powers with current figures suggesting 25.8% of all stop and searches undertaken have led to a positive outcome such as an arrest, cannabis warning, fixed penalty notice, report for summons or restorative justice outcome.
Commenting on his award, Commissioner Tipping said: “I am immensely proud to receive this award which recognises the work my team and I have undertaken to promote fairness, balance and equality within policing.
“There can be no greater sign of approval than to receive recognition from such a forward-thinking organisation as Himmah, whose dedication and passion for protecting people’s rights is an example for all to follow. I am very grateful to Sajid and his team for the insight they’ve given me into the issues and tensions that exist within some of our diverse communities and I look forward to continuing to work with them in the future to promote cohesion and inclusion.
“Under-reporting is a major challenge for all police forces and is an issue I’m very keen to address by listening to all of our residents and understanding how we can build their trust in local policing.”
As part of a raft of measures to tackle hate crime, Commissioner Tipping introduced a £90,000 City Safe cab scheme which introduced CCTV into hackney carriages to protect taxi drivers from assault. He also re-introduced a senior officer post to strategically coordinate hate crime and other interventions including a process to record Islamophobic hate crimes within the Force – both at a time when there have been significant budget cuts.
The awards ceremony was held at University of Nottingham and attended by community representatives, stakeholders and members of the Himmah team.
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Posted on Thursday 18th June 2015