Supplementary written evidence submitted by Hardyal Dhindsa, Police and Crime Commissioner for Derbyshire, Deputy Lead on Equality, Diversity and Human Rights, Association of Police and Crime Commissioners. (APC0003)
1. The Committee would welcome any further written evidence that you may wish to submit – to clarify or add to any of the areas that were discussed in the session. Additionally, the Committee would welcome information on the following points:
3. The APCC Chair Katy Bourne OBE is represented on the National Policing Board overseeing Operation Uplift, whilst the APCC Chief Executive is represented on the Operation Uplift Programme being led by DCC Janette McCormick. A cross-party selection of PCCs and the APCC itself are additionally represented on Operation Uplift’s Stakeholder Reference Group.
The APCC understands that Operation Uplift are also targeting a diverse audience through the current recruitment campaign and have recruited a more diverse assessor pool. Along with the rest of the Operation Uplift Stakeholder Reference Group, the APCC was consulted with - and provided feedback on - materials relating to assessor recruitment campaigns produced by an external agency contracted by the College of Policing. The APCC was also invited to observe the new Day One assessment centre being piloted by the MPS - anecdotal observations from this day alone would suggested that a diverse assessor pool had been recruited.
I would encourage the Committee to get in touch directly with the College of Policing to find out more detailed information regarding the diversity of assessment centre staff.
5. This figure refers to the percentage of the police officers who are BAME. It is available on the government’s Ethnicity Facts and Figures page here:
We have made progress from 3.9% to 6.9% of the Police Workforce being BAME, but the BAME population in England and Wales is 14%. That could go up in the census next year to 20%, so we could fall further behind in a year’s time, in terms of where we are. Serious consideration must be given to this by Parliament, because it requires legislation, it is not something that we can do as police and crime commissioners. It is something that needs to be considered seriously now. There is no doubt there have been some positive examples of increases in BAME representation in Police workforces. The best examples where use of innovative Positive Action initiatives have made significant improvements are the Metropolitan Police (15%) against 40.2% BAME in the general population, West Midlands (11%) against 29.9%, Bedfordshire (10%) against 22.5% and Greater Manchester (7.3%) against 16.2%. Despite the reboot of Positive Action by the NPCC through Diversity Workforce strategy launched 18 months ago the chances of narrowing the gap as recommended by a previous HASC some 6 years ago would mean that it could still be 50 years before the workforce BAME representation reaches the 2011 Census BAME diversity of 14%.
6. That is why there is a call by some in the Police to give a ‘jolt to policing organisations’ through considering implementation of positive discrimination – most recently suggested by the outgoing Chair of the NPCC, CC Sara Thornton and the National Black Police Association (Chair Tola Munro). I visited Police Service Northern Ireland a few years ago and was impressed with progress made by them through the introduction of 50/50 recruitment to increase the number of Catholic officers. Over 10 years of ‘positive discrimination’ increasing catholic officer representation from 8% to 30%. I would suggest that parliament needs to consider whether such an initiative could provide a jolt to ‘policing organisations’ regarding BAME representation that, positive action and other initiatives, has failed to deliver despite the best efforts of Chief Constables over 20 years since the 1997 Macpherson Inquiry recommendations and by Police and Crime Commissioners, adding their efforts to promoting positive action, since their inception.
8. In June 2018, in order to encourage more female and BAME candidates to apply to become police constables, the MPS announced they would cover the entire costs of pre-join qualification training (approximately £1,000) for members of these groups. Further information on this initiative can be read here:
10. Yes, the good practice workshop which I referred to was the second APCC & NPCC workshop held on Stop and Search, in January 2020. Attached above is the agenda (see below for Annex 1) and a copy of my presentation on role of PCC in Stop and Search with explanatory notes (Annex 2).
12. The APCC will raise this issue with the NPCC Lead on Stop and Search, DCC Adrian Hanstock, and will inform the Committee of any developments. I would encourage you to additionally contact the NPCC if you seek to find out any further information on this topic.
Annex 1 – Agenda for APCC & NPCC –Stop and Search Workshop
1300- , 10 January 2020
British Transport Police HQ, 25 Camden Road, NW1 9LN.
Stop and Search refers to a range of powers designed to enable the police to respond effectively to crime. These powers have attracted controversy, as year on year government statistics have shown that they are used disproportionately on Black people, and other non-White groups, which has impacted on community tensions. The powers have additionally attracted media attention over the past year, following the relaxation of restrictions on the use of Section 60 Stop and Searches as part of the government’s efforts to curb rises in serious violence.
The aim of this session is to bring together Police and Crime Commissioners, Chief Constables, civil servants, representatives of community scrutiny panels, and other relevant groups, to share their views and concerns with regard to Stop and Search, and to inform policymaking on both the local and national level.
1230-1300 Registration and networking
1310-1400 Providing Effective Community Scrutiny
This session will focus on the vital role that effective community scrutiny mechanisms play in order to provide community confidence in the use of Stop and Search powers.
Chair: David Munro, APCC Lead on Equality, Diversity and Human Rights
1410-1500 Stop and Search and Communities
This session will focus on the impact that Stop and Search can have on community relations: how the power can be used to keep communities safe, and the importance of using the powers proportionately in order to avoid damaging community confidence.
Chair: DCC Hanstock
Chair: DCC Adrian Hanstock
This session will explore the role that Stop and Search can play in tackling Serious Violence, the extent to which it is effective in tackling Serious Violence and what else is needed to make our communities safer:
1550 Closing remarks
Annex 2 – A copy of my presentation on role of PCC in Stop and Search with explanatory notes
First, before talking about the role that PCCs play in providing governance and scrutiny, lets look at the role more broadly.
The Police and Crime Commissioner is charged with securing and maintaining and efficient and effective police force. This includes, as you can see here:
• Setting local priorities for policing through Police and Crime Plans. The PCC does this through engaging with their community and listening to their concerns.
• Holding the Police Fund – as well as setting the police budget, this includes commissioning services to support victims and prevent crime.
• Bringing together community safety and criminal justice partners to ensure that local priorities are joined up.
• Holding the Chief Constable to account for the delivery of the Police and Crime Plan.
The Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act, passed in 2011, established the role of Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs).
With regards to providing effective governance and scrutiny, the two most relevant clauses of the legislation are as shown:
• Clause 8 states that the PCC is responsible for holding the Chief Constable to account for their duties relating to equality and diversity. Principally, this relates to the Public Sector Equality Duty, which requires bodies in the public sector to work towards eliminating unlawful discrimination, advancing equality of opportunity and fostering good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not. The PSED also applies to Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs).
• Clause 14 covers the measures that PCCs should take to obtain the views of the local community. Engagement forms a key part of the PCC role: the PCC acts as a bridge between the public and the local police service.
In the next slide, I will talk about how we put this into practice in Derbyshire.