Derbyshire Constabulary has reaffirmed its commitment to becoming an anti-racist service following national feedback to the Police Race Action Plan to help improve policing for Black people.
The Police Race Action Plan was published in draft form in May 2022, followed by a public survey, which invited members of the public, individual police officers and staff, and representatives from policing and other organisations to share their thoughts on the Plan.
The survey - one of the biggest of its kind in policing – received more than 5,000 responses, of which 10 per cent were from Black or Black British or mixed Black heritage respondents.
Derbyshire joined every police force in the England and Wales to collate feedback on the Plan from officers and staff, stakeholders, and communities, to gather a wide range of views from across policing.
All feedback will now be considered to identify the action needed to develop the Plan further and inform its implementation before a final version is published in Spring 2023.
Key findings include:
The survey found respondents were divided in their views about whether the plan would have a positive impact.
Black or mixed Black respondents were more sceptical than White respondents, which is understandable given the longstanding issues related to race and racism in policing.
Respondents who worked for the police tended to have more confidence in the individual commitments than those who worked outside of policing.
There are consistently three groups in relation to confidence across all commitments and overall in the Plan – around 30% being confident, 30% not confident and 30% undecided.
In response to the question reflecting overall confidence in the Plan: ‘The Police Race Action Plan will address racial bias towards Black people in policing’, 30% of respondents were confident, 32% were undecided and 38% were not confident.
Across the commitments, respondents reported the highest confidence in the commitment that, ‘Zero tolerance of racism in policing - at a police force level’ will be achieved through the Plan.
Across the commitments, respondents reported the lowest confidence in the commitment that, ‘The development of a representative workforce’ will be achieved through the Plan.
Feedback gathered by police forces via engagement sessions with members of the public, stakeholders, and police officers and staff, showed that, overall, session participants were undecided about the Plan – they were neither ‘very confident’ nor ‘not at all confident’ in the Plan or any of its commitments.
DCC Simon Blatchly said: “The Police Race Action Plan is all about knowing our communities better and improving policing for Black people. Listening to those with lived experience, both internally and externally, will help us to get this plan right, we want the plan to reflect the needs of our communities across Derbyshire, and we will be listening to local people and our officers and staff, to and as a force we are committed to taking steps to make a tangible difference.”