A team established within the police to “make policing anti-racist” has itself been accused of racism. The Telegraph’s Ewan Somerville has the story.
The Police Race Action Plan was launched after the murder of the black man George Floyd by a white police officer in the US in 2020.
Developed by the College of Policing and the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC), it claims to “make policing anti-racist” and “not over-police” black people by tackling racial disparities in stop and search, arrests and homicides.
When it was published last May, the plan 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.”
Now, former staff members in the unit have accused it of racism.
A black former member, who asked to remain anonymous, told BBC Newsnight they believed people like them were seen as “troublemakers or difficult”, and were treated differently to their white colleagues, with no more support offered as workloads increased.
“It was openly questioned if black people were even needed to work on the plan. I increasingly felt my voice and – at times – my lived and professional experience were being ignored,” they said.
Another former member said the entire process left them “completely disillusioned”.
They explained: “The fact that these behaviours (racism) have been displayed on a programme that set out with the good intention to ‘improve the experience for black people working in or interacting with police’ was perplexing, and left me thinking at times how serious the police were in wanting to make tangible change.”