Written evidence submitted by the National Police Chiefs’ Council (MAC0038)

 

This submission to the Home Affairs Select Committee inquiry into ‘The Macpherson Report: twenty one years on’, is made by the chair of the National Police Chiefs’ Council Coordination Committee for Diversity, Equality and Inclusion, Chief Constable Ian Hopkins, Greater Manchester Police.

1              Introduction

1.1              ‘Policing by consent is the most fundamental building block in the provision of policing services. It is firmly believed that this can only be achieved by retaining legitimacy within the communities we serve through transparency, engagement, ethical and fair application of the law by a workforce that reflects the people it serves.’[1]

1.2              The NPCC recognise the fundamental importance of community relations in delivering legitimate and effective policing across the UK.

1.3              The policing of the Coronavirus regulations introduced in a response to Covid-19 has highlighted the importance of the relationship between the police and black and minority ethnic communities. The challenge of disproportionality has been raised in the issuing of fixed penalties for breaching regulations, following a pattern of disproportionality in other powers, that have an impact on community relations.

1.4              This written submission of evidence highlights the developments of policing nationally in light of the global pandemic of COVID-19, the response to developing legislation and powers under the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) Regulations 2020 and The Health Protection (Coronavirus Restrictions) (Wales) Regulations 2020, and the work across the NPCC during this timeframe to maintain and strengthen police /community relations. It further highlights the ongoing work through the NPCC Diversity Equality and Inclusion Coordination Committee and the Police Uplift Programme to establish a workforce that is representative of the communities we serve. 

1.5              This submission follows an earlier written submission, oral evidence presented in 2019 and oral evidence in 2020.

1.6              21 years after Macpherson, we recognise this as another historic moment, and an opportunity to reflect, listen, learn, consider and commit to change in how policing is experienced by people of colour, to the benefit of all communities.  

2              The NPCC

2.1              The NPCC’s primary focus is facilitating collaboration between operationally independent police forces. The greatest threats faced by the UK are national and international and so a collective operational response is critical. Collaboration between forces on issues such as finance, technology and human resources also helps to ensure consistent national approaches and can cut costs to forces. On issues which are recognised as challenges and opportunities for all, or multiple forces, the NPCC facilitates communication and action between them, and externally on their behalf.

2.2              In addition to their day jobs, chief officers support the work of the NPCC by taking responsibility for the crime and policing issues from a national operational perspective. NPCC leads speak on behalf of the NPCC to explain the operational police response on a range of issues to the public and to government, drive improvements in policing and work closely with the College of Policing on relevant standards, guidance and professional practice.

2.3              In 2018 the NPCC made a pledge, committing to embed diversity, equality and inclusion into our workforce and into the services provided to communities:

 

 

2.4              Progress has been made, and this is described in more detail below, but it is recognised that there is more work to do, and in the final section we set out our plans for the next steps.

OUR ACTIONS

3.              NPCC Diversity Equality and Inclusion Strategy

3.1              The NPCC Diversity Equality and Inclusion Strategy 2018-2025, was agreed by all Chief Constable’s in 2018. The strategy gives clarity of leadership and action that is required by the police service across our organisation, our communities and our partners.

3.2              Embedding diversity, equality and inclusion into all that we do is an essential ingredient for success. It is fundamental to legitimacy and to fostering trust and confidence in policing. Chief Officers recognise the operational imperative to be representative of the communities they serve.

3.3              The Diversity, Equality and Inclusion Co-ordination Committee own, develop and deliver this strategy on behalf of the NPCC.

3.4              Activity across forces is driven through toolkits that have been developed in the three areas:

These toolkits provide prompts for action and activity that will support each force in embedding the Diversity, Equality and Inclusion Strategy within their own organisation.

3.5              To further embed the strategy, and understand progress, a Diversity Equality Inclusion Self-Assessment (DEISA) was commissioned by the DEICC in autumn 2019. It was intended for use by police forces to help in gauging their progress in developing policy and practice in response to the DEI Strategy and supporting toolkits.

3.6              Diversity, equality and inclusion should not sit in isolation, and a key role of the DEI Coordination Committee is to ensure that DEI is considered across all policing portfolios of the NPCC. The following sections highlight the work of some specific NPCC portfolios, and the impact their work has on police and community relations.


4              Local Policing

4.1              In its 2016 Police Effectiveness Report, Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue (HMICFRS) raised concerns that local policing had been eroded and that many forces had failed to ‘redefine’ neighbourhood policing in the context of reduced budgets and changing demand.

4.2              Modernising Neighbourhood Policing guidelines were released in 2018 to assist forces in addressing the HMICFRS concerns. Their development was overseen by a guideline committee of frontline practitioners, subject matter experts and academics, who shared their experiences and views to augment the research material.

4.3              There are 7 core principles to the guidelines, the first being engaging with communities. This encompasses traditional methods of engagement, but also supports forces in understanding how this can be achieved in an ever increasing digital age, highlighted by the fact that in the United Kingdom 44% of Facebook users follow their local police force. This alone presents a vast opportunity for forces at a local level to communicate directly to the public to offer prevention advice, to aid investigations, keep the public safe via warning and informing and explain their actions.

4.4              Forces positively adopted the guidelines and have carried out peer assessments to support their implementation (of which forces are at varying stages of implementation). This is ongoing work and has support from HMICFRS which has reviewed their assessment criteria on Neighbourhood Policing. HMICFRS were aiming to assess forces in 2020, however delays due to Covid-19 will result in assessment including the core principles now taking place in 2021.

4.5              Solid community relations cannot be underestimated, as the foundations are essential to build on in times of crisis. Some examples of engagement with BAME communities during the Covid-19:

4.5.1              In Leicestershire, engagement with communities was crucial factor in effectively policing Black Lives Matter protests. Leicestershire Police with it local BPA consulted with the BLM protest organisers, Independent Advisory Groups and community leaders prior, during and after the protests to ensure the exercise of the right to protest, whilst also being mindful of the governments Covid guidance especially around social distancing. The policing style was thoughtful, considered and respectful, and has resulted in positive feedback from the organisers.

4.5.2              In Bristol, the Outreach Team have used social media throughout this period to keep information channels with communities open. It is recognised that engagement needs to change due to Covid-19, and a different approach is required. For example, the St Paul’s carnival will be held virtually.

5              Race, Religion and Belief

5.1              As the NPCC lead for Race, Religion and Belief, CC Garry Forsyth works with community groups and individuals to influence policing and highlight issues concerning race. Issues including disparity, workforce confidence, leadership and community confidence are regularly examined. This is overseen through a senior strategic group that enjoys the support of academics, staff associations, diverse groups and senior stakeholders and partners, such as the College of Policing and the Home Office. This collaboration has the capability to address key strategic issues.

5.2              The vision statement of the Race, Religion and Belief portfolio is:

Working with colleagues and partners, both internal and external, we must enable Policing and faith to come together and encourage our workforce to bring one’s whole self to work.  One’s religion or faith or lack of such, does not need to be left at the door. We must encourage our external partners and the public to support us as we celebrate difference and diversity of individuals across faith communities.   We aspire to have a truly representative workforce of the public we serve.  

5.3              Key strategic issues on the agenda for this portfolio are:

5.3.1              Disproportionality. Currently focused on misconduct outcomes in policing and taser use.

5.3.2              Developing operational guidance and support for diverse faiths in policing, guidance has recently been provided on Ramadan and prayer during Covid-19 as well as guidance to the CT network on the utilisation of pagan symbols.

5.3.3              Intersectionality and developing leadership in the BAME workforce through conference events and networks.

5.4              Work with key stakeholders has shown the commitment and determination that exists to drive the agenda forwards, and there is confidence that the progress around recruitment and workforce representation will grow in those forces which are richer in diversity so that we can serve the public with improved legitimacy. This will help policing tackle complex modern day crime in a more effective, legitimate and sustainable way.

6              Hate Crime

6.1              The national policing policy and legislative responses to hate crime can all be traced back to the report of the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry. Whilst we are not complacent, the UK has come to be recognised, by international observers, as a world leader in its response to hate crime and we have seen significant performance advancement in the last two decades.

6.2              Perhaps the most important advancement can be seen in the hate crime data. Since ACPO Cabinet agreed a shared definition of ‘Monitored Hate Crime’, in November 2007, we have been able to implement robust data systems and measure our progress to address under-reported hate crime. The Crime Survey of England and Wales provides the most reliable data in this regard.  

6.3              In the decade from 2009 we have seen ‘experienced' hate crime (In England & Wales) reduce from circa. 307k to 272k, to 222k and the latest round measured 184k hate crimes. In that same time period recorded hate crime has risen from 43k to 103k. Effectively this means that we have gone from approximately 1-in-6 to 1-in-2 experienced crimes being reported. However, many communities actually feel less safe given the increased exposure to online racism, racism in the media and the divisions in our political discourse.

6.4              Reporting confidence was the primary target of the Cross Government Hate Crime Programme which was established in 2007. There has been a range of activity by the programme, police leaders and our Independent Advisory Group including the following;

6.5              Most of the recommendations in the report of the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry were accepted and many fully delivered but one exception was recommendation 17 that said;  

“That there should be close co-operation between Police Services and local Government and other agencies, including in particular Housing and Education Departments, to ensure that all information as to racist incidents and crimes is shared and is readily available to all agencies.” 

This was accepted by the, then Home Secretary but has never been robustly implemented, largely as there has never been a duty on educators to record and respond to racist incidents and crimes.

6.6              Despite welcome progress in tackling hate crime, areas for concern remain:.

6.6.1              We have seen some weakening of the support of civil society partners through third-party reporting and victim support services. 

Despite there being some excellent examples, like the Community Security Trust that support the Jewish communities, and Tell MAMA that replicates this for the Muslim victims, the national capacity of charity partners has reduced significantly in recent years as funding has reduced.  Despite the fact that around 80-85% of all recorded hate crime is racist, race is one of the areas hardest hit by this reduction. 

This was highlighted in a recent 'Hate Crime Country Report'[2] on the UK. It noted the lack of civil society representation of victims of racist hate crime. The loss of the Commission for Racial Equality and the network of local Race Equality Councils has not been effectively replaced by any other representative bodies. We have been working to support Dr John Azah in his efforts  to try and fill this gap through the remnants of the 'British Forum of Race Equality Councils' but there is a long way to go before this achieves national coverage.

6.6.2              Despite increased reporting our partners in the CPS would highlight that we are referring fewer cases to them for charge decisions. In order to better understand this we are embarking on a national audit of volunteer police forces. This was due to start shortly after the lock-down and is now planned to re-commence in July.

6.6.3              National policy and state responses to hate crime was overseen by a national hate crime programme which, since 2007,  brought departments and agencies together in a coordinated programme overseen by a Strategy Board and with a dedicated Independent Advisory Group. This structure which oversaw the above national advancement has effectively been demolished in recent years with policy returning to traditional departmental structures. This current Government has yet to set out its stance on hate crime or announce whether it will publish its own Hate Crime Action Plan.

6.7              Throughout the response to COVID-19, there has been a Hate Crime Gold Group in operation. Chaired by the NPCC lead for Hate Crime, DCC Hamilton, this group has taken oversight of our national response to any changes in the targeting of our communities. Police colleagues and partner charities have been asked to notify the group when trends emerged and perpetrators mentioned COVID-19 during hate crime offences.

7              Stop and Search

7.1              There have been a number of developments in stop and search policy and activity since 2019.

7.2              Throughout January to March 2019 there has been engagement with the Home Office in respect of expansion of stop and search legislation to include possession of corrosive substances, drones and their component parts through the Offensive Weapons Bill.

7.3              The scrutiny of the use of stop and search powers has been an integral facet of the work. In February 2019 the NPCC supported the launch of the Criminal Justice Alliance commentary on impact of stop & search[3], and in March 2019 engaged with Stop Watch and The Information Commissioner’s Office in understanding and negotiating protocols for scrutiny panels to view body worn video footage of stops.  This led to involvement of College of Policing and the initiation of Community Engagement APP. Considerations such as vetting of panel members, pixelisation of clips, ability to offer remote access to video clips, confidentiality agreements, and community briefing on terms of reference when viewing BWV have formed part of this.

7.4              In March and April 2019 there were detailed discussions with the Home Office on proposed reversal of the Best Use of Stop and Search (BUSS) s.60 controls. The then Home Secretary signalled support of Stop and Search to combat serious violence (SV), and there was a planned trial of relaxation of the BUSS schemes in seven forces most affected by SV – MPS, West Mids, Merseyside, GMP, W Yorks, S Yorks, South Wales and also BTP operations within those force areas. On 31st March 2019 the Home Office announced a trial for 12 months, which would be reviewed at 6 months. Over the subsequent months there have been monthly conference calls with representatives from the 8 forces and Home Office officials to gauge the impact (operational and community). In June 2019, all forces involved in the pilot were invited to contribute to how community engagement is being developed. This has provided further contribution to College of Policing’s development of APP.

7.5              From the summer of 2019 onwards, HMICFRS has continued to comment on legitimacy with stop and search as a key factor in PEEL assessments.

7.6              In July 2019, following a strategic round table session including representatives from the Home Office, the College of Policing, HMICFRS, StopWatch, Liberty, Release, Criminal Justice Alliance, academics and community leaders, concerns emerged about the legitimacy of the Home Office relaxation of BUSSS and lack of measures to underpin it to qualify it as an authentic pilot scheme. As a consequence the pilot has been given further consideration by the Home Office and the NPCC lead is in ongoing discussions as to how they plan to respond which may lead to stock take and/or extension of the pilot with the 8 forces.

7.7              Throughout the Autumn of 2019 there was further activity, aligned to scrutiny of the Stop and Search power and its impact:

8              Policing Style: COVID-19

8.1              Given the unprecedented powers that have been given to policing following the Covid-19 outbreak, we have developed comprehensive guidance alongside the College of Policing to support frontline officers.

8.2               Our aim since the beginning of the outbreak has been to encourage and support our communities to comply fully with these restrictions. We have no desire to use the formal powers made available to policing but its right that we’re able to enforce against those who disregard these measures and put people at risk. The vast majority are following the government requests, and we thank them.

 

8.3               We police by consent in this country, and will follow a very fair four-step escalation model with the public and businesses. Most cases should be dealt with using the first three steps:

 

-          Engage: officers will ask whether an individual is aware of the government request; establish individual circumstances and how quickly someone can comply.

-          Explain: officers will explain the risks to public health, and to the NHS in line with government guidance.

-          Encourage: officers will encourage voluntary compliance.

-          Enforce: if faced with non-compliance, officers will, if necessary and proportionate:
- direct those without a reasonable excuse to go home, using reasonable force if needed;
- issue a fine, to discourage further non-compliance;
- use prohibition notices to stop public gatherings.
- use existing licencing powers where businesses and organisations fail to comply;

 

8.4               In the vast majority of cases, the public have complied with the restrictions and no enforcement action has had to be taken.

8.5               In additional to joint guidance, the College of Policing is providing a revised training programme to forces that will allow student officers, including special constables, to quickly get the essential skills they need to support frontline policing.

9              Enforcement – Fixed Penalty Notices

9.1              The NPCC lead for Criminal Justice has worked with ACRO to process all Fixed Penalty Notices issued in line with the 4 E's Policing approach (Engage, Explain Encourage and Enforce). Enforcement has always been the last option in our approach to the Health Regulations, and the majority of people have complied and supported our efforts on engagement, without the need to enforce the Regulations either via fixed penalty notices, report for summons or arrest. 

9.2              Where tickets have had to be issued, a standardised framework has been used to capture all personal information of offenders in order to process these tickets, including capture of their self-defined ethnicity. Instruction has been clear to all forces that they must have scrutiny and checking in place before submitting tickets to ACRO for national processing, and that data integrity is vital in order to understand the wider picture on offending.

9.3              ACRO have produced force level reports, which have been provided to each force on a regular basis, which included the ethnicity breakdown based on their enforcement returns. Where a force has profiled high on BAME enforcement, contact has been made to ensure their Gold and Criminal Justice leads put performance regimes and scrutiny checks with Independent Advisory Groups in place within their force.

9.4              A memorandum of understanding has now been agreed between the Government Statistical Service and the NPCC Chair on behalf of all forces that hold the data on Fixed Penalty Notices issued under these Regulations in relation to the sharing of all fixed penalty notice data.

9.5              This work is analysing those tickets issued between the 27th March and 25th May and will explore the extent to which there is evidence of disproportionality in the way in which the police service enforced the new health protection regulations in England and Wales. Specifically, this is examining any variations in the level of such FPNs for contravening the regulations across different ethnic groups.

9.6               This work is now at the peer review stage and will show detailed picture of enforcement in relation to ethnicity at both a national and regional level. We aim to publish this at the earliest opportunity.


10              Our Organisations

10.1              The drive to make the police service reflective of the communities it serves has been led by the Workforce Diversity and Representation Portfolio. The challenge is of leadership and cultural change in our organisations. Recruitment is only the start of the response, and action is required through the entire employment life cycle.

10.2              Under the NPCC Diversity, Equality and Inclusion Strategy, CC Hopkins led the development of the DEI Workforce toolkit. Following extensive consultation the NPCC DEI Toolkit was formally launched January 2019 to Policing and its partners. The toolkit was delivered as a framework  across the following themes;

10.3              The intention was for Chief Officer teams, Police and Crime Commissioners and positive action recruitment teams to consider both strategic and tactical implementation of the toolkit against individual Force’s operational policing requirements, demographics linked to community makeup and workforce cohesion requirements. It was not the case of all actions being adopted but those that were relevant to each force.

10.4              To embed the strategy, CC Hopkins, as the Workforce Diversity and Representation lead, developed and committed to four actions:

(i)              Undertake Peer Reviews

(ii)              Enable a self-assessment process

(iii)              Complete a Workforce Survey focused on inclusion

(iv)              For HMICFRS to include diversity, equality and inclusion within PEEL inspections.

10.5               Peer Reviews

In September 2019, the Positive Action Practitioners Alliance (PAPA)- a national group of practitioners from each HO and non HO forces engaged with the College of Policing and launched a joint ‘Peer Review’ process. This was a voluntary request by Chief Constables for an external and objective Peer Review team with excellent practitioners insight into Diversity, Equality and inclusion. The review consisted of a desk top review of policy, communications and tangible actions and then a visit to see tactical implementation. The peer review teams consisted of experienced PAPA colleagues and CoP accredited Peer review consultants.

10.6              Between September 2019 and February 2020 (nothing since March 2020 due to COVID-19), 10 forces were visited with varying results. Some Forces very engaged have developed a good action plan of their own, good Chief Officer governance and clearly identified Positive action team/resources. Forces that have made excellent progress against the strategic intention of recruiting a representative and diverse work force are Greater Manchester Police, West Midlands Police, Met Police, Bedfordshire and Leicestershire Police.

Some Forces have started but are early on the delivery of the toolkit, with positive action structures and strategic governance being considered. Some forces are literally starting the journey by considering the toolkit against the announcement of the 20,000 ‘uplift’ in new police recruitment.

10.7              Following a review of the process at the end of January 2020, it was decided to transfer the arrangements for organisation of further Peer Reviews to the College of Policing. The format will change to provide a deep dive into specific areas identified by completion of the DEI self-assessment tool.  Funding has been secured through the Uplift programme to support this work.

10.8              Self- Assessment

In support of the further development of this work a DEI self-assessment has been introduced to allow forces to self-critique and then request a ‘deep dive’ peer review against focused ‘thematic’ areas. In February 2020, all forces were asked to consider using a Diversity Equality and Inclusion Self-assessment to gauge their progress against the Strategy Toolkits. The self-assessment asked forces to look at examples of initiatives, policy and practice, and assess, and then rate these in terms of how effective they are, the quality of the example, and how widespread they are. Forces were invited to share their self-assessments so that we can learn as a service nationally.

10.9              Inclusion Survey

The National Diversity, Equality and Inclusion Survey was designed to examine inclusivity and workplace culture from the perspective of the policing workforce within the forty-three Home Office forces in England and Wales. It is the first time in Policing history such a survey has been done and it has been completed by 34,000 colleagues nationally (16.6% response rate). The results will be shared at Chief Constable’s Council on 15th July 2020 and will be used to further drive changes to practice and culture in the service.

10.10              Retention and development of staff is essential, and there is an intention to build on force level developed development programmes that have been successful in enabling career progression of staff.  GMP, in partnership with the College of Policing, has developed ‘The Personal Development Action Learning Sets’ (PeDALS) Programme. Aimed at developing staff from diverse backgrounds, GMP has seen success through the 3 years the programme has been running – 40 out of 71 participants have either been promoted/gained a higher graded job or made a lateral move after attending PeDALS. DCC Cain is looking to work with the College to upscale this scheme on a national level, and funding has been secured through the Uplift Programme to enable this.

10.11              A further focus has been the experiences of BAME staff in the police service. The intention to research disproportionality in professional standards was reported to the Committee in 2019. The final report; ‘Disproportionality in Police Complaint and Misconduct cases’, found that there was a disparity in the initial case to answer and severity assessments applied by PSDs between BAME and white officers. The report also found that supervisors failed to deal with low-level conduct matters involving BAME officers at the earliest opportunity compared to white officers. There was no disparity found in complaints from members of the public regarding BAME and white officers, but a significant higher proportion of conduct allegations for white officers were assessed as management action, misconduct or gross misconduct compared to those for officers from a BAME background.

10.12              The report found that there were a number of reasons for this including lack of cultural awareness by PSDs and supervisors as well as a lack of confidence amongst supervisors who feared being labelled racist and so decided to pass what is perceived to be a problem to PSD to investigate. It also found that a lack of cultural awareness and understanding often heightened issues.

10.13              The report made a number of recommendations including cultural awareness training for officers at all levels including PSDs. For NPCC and HMICFRS to consider developing an inspection question set that measures the progress made against this and previous reports, with the aim of introducing it to the 2021 PEEL inspection framework and to utilise the forthcoming results from the national well-being and inclusion survey to support a culture of empowerment to encourage supervisors to take responsibility and deal with complaint and conduct matters at the earliest opportunity.

10.14              The report has been welcomed by the Professional Standards Portfolio. The report has correlated with a number of issues that the portfolio have been seeking to address, not least  the need to record and gather data consistently in a way which is achievable and efficient whilst not forcing individuals to ‘self-define’. The report demonstrates a wide range of complex factors which indicate disproportionality in some areas at certain points in time. Changes to the whole system of Police Discipline were quite deliberate. The key aspect was a move towards reflective practice and learning whereby lower level transgressions and performance matters were dealt with by supervisors rather than being referred in to PSD’s. In other words the design was mandatory which avoids buck-passing at the lower levels.

The report calls for more cultural understanding from PSD’s which links to how representative your individual PSD/ACU office is. However, more importantly each force needs to deliver a much more joined up approach of organisational awareness to better inform decision making - for example links with civil processes or grievances. This would greatly enhance decision making when it comes to context and severity at an early stage.

11              The Police Uplift Programme

11.1              In July 2019 the Prime Minister gave a commitment to recruit an additional 20k officers by 31st March 2023 to be phased over the three years (Year 1 6000, Year 2 14,000 and Year 3 20,000). Based on predicted attrition, local recruitment in train for 2019 / 2020, together with this additional growth, this represents the recruitment of approximately 53k officers (April 2019 to March 2023).

11.2              Initial allocations at a force level have been agreed for Year 1 (2020 / 2021) only. Subject to future allocations, based on this rate of growth this could represent a turnover of more than a third of the workforce across territorial policing, providing an opportunity to accelerate plans to increase workforce representation.

11.3              To capitalise on this opportunity NPCC, the Home Office and College of Policing have established a collaborative Programme (Uplift). The Programme brings all three organisations together to lever the opportunities this provides, support delivery of the Uplift but also impact on workforce representation.

11.4              The Programme has strategic leadership through a joint Sponsor Group and reports to the National Policing Board, chaired by the Home Secretary. 

11.5              The Programme is reviewing the ‘end to end’ recruitment process, attraction, selection and pre employment, and as part of this the impact on black, Asian and minority ethnic candidates. Primarily focused on the recruitment, it is also developing the workforce data ‘cradle to grave’ to better understand and enable issues of retention and progression to be addressed.

11.6              A flavour of the activity of the Programme to date is highlighted. In September an insight led attraction campaign was launched, together with a national website. ‘Be a Force For All’, has been designed with, and is using feedback from officers, and Staff Associations / networks to better attract diversity of candidates. A Stakeholder Group has been used to shape the messaging and advice on content. TV and cinema adverts have been used, as well as targeted media channels to help reach into diverse communities. Evaluation is ongoing to understand the effectiveness. Further comment is included under the data section.

11.7              In support of the NPCC Diversity, Equality and Inclusion Strategy, practice guidance on Attraction and Positive Action have been developed for forces. These include case studies and good practice. These will be supported by on line workshops through the summer to share and develop best practice.

11.8              Investment has been approved 2020 / 2021 to help build force capabilities. This will focus on support for force and Staff Networks to build web content to provide an insight for prospective candidates of the lived experience of officers, as well as training for local positive action teams. Attraction material from the national campaign has been provided to forces to support local outreach work.

11.9              The College of Policing sets the standards for the national assessment process. Currently forces use a variety of sifting processes pre and post assessment. A review of these selection methods is underway from pre assessment sifting to pre-employment checks, specifically the impact across black, Asian and minority ethnic candidates. This will take account of the development of the new ‘on line’ assessment process introduced as a result of the government guidance due to COVID-19.

11.10              National standards for Pre employment Vetting Guidance (Authorised Professional Practice) have been reviewed. Publication of the new guidance is due in July. This will amongst other things, seek to standardise appeals processes and build in data monitoring.

11.11              The Annual Data Return (ADR) in July, is the official workforce data return published by the Home Office based on force submissions. This provides data on an annual basis on a snapshot as at 31st March annually by officer / rank. For black, Asian and minority ethnic candidates this data is published annually in July against 5 groups – black, white, Asian, other, preferred not to say.

11.12              In November 2019 data collection procedures were changed to help diversify recruitment. Since then data on the rate of growth of BAME candidates has been collected monthly for internal purposes, and the period from Nov 2019 until March 2020 will be reported on in the HO annual statistics published in July. There are positive signs that over the last 12 months there is an improvement in the pace of growth and representation of women and black, Asian and minority ethnic officers.

11.13              The ADR provides retention data by ethnicity and reasons for leaving, e.g. dismissal, resignation. Investment has been agreed 2020 / 2021 to collect detailed quantitative and qualitative data to enable future detailed analysis. 

11.14              Currently workforce data does not allow reporting on intersectionality e.g. female, black officer. Tracking and analysis of officers through their career to understand progression / roles is also not possible. A feasibility study is being undertaken to understand how this can be implemented across different force systems.

11.15              The Programme is developing a data dashboard to track progress to improve workforce representation looking at a cross section of factors recruitment, attrition, progress against local population, rate of change over time, impact of selection processes and data quality that is where people choose or don’t record details. These will be made available at a local and force level.

12              The Future

12.1              The NPCC recognise that there is more to do, and we are committed to continuing action that strengthens relationships with communities, and thereby builds trust, confidence and police legitimacy.

12.2               We are determined that the opportunity that this ‘moment in time’ presents is not lost.

12.3              Designing our plan of action will involve all ranks. We will involve those groups that represent and support our officers and staff of colour. We will reach out to those who work with us and provide challenge in communities. The intention is to produce an inclusive and clear plan of action for sustainable change. The detail of the plan will be discussed in planned sessions at Chief Constables’ Council (CCC) on the 15th and 16th July.

12.4              Early discussions point towards three key areas that must be included:

12.5              The basis of the plan of action will emerge in discussions at CCC later this month and will be subject of discussion, consultation and challenge in the weeks that follow. It is essential that we get this right to ensure that it makes a difference.

 

July 2020

 

 


[1] NPCC Diversity Equality and Inclusion Strategy 2018-2025

[2] https://www.report-it.org.uk/files/facing-facts-country-report-england-and-wales-with-self-assessment-271119-v2.pdf

[3] http://criminaljusticealliance.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/CJA-Stop-and-Scrutinise-2019.pdf

[4] https://www.college.police.uk/News/College-news/Pages/Consultation-on-updates-to-stop-and-search-APP.aspx

[5] https://www.guardian-series.co.uk/north_london_news/18046781.boris-johnson-pledges-stronger-stop-search-powers/