Police Race Action Plan: Roundtable Discussion
Thursday 23 February 2023
Police Now held a roundtable discussion event this week (Tuesday 21st February) with 10 panel speakers from police forces across the country. The panellists and audience had the opportunity to discuss the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) and College of Policing’s Police Race Action Plan in detail, share opinions and perspectives, and inform tangible positive actions to support and enable progress.
Assistant Chief Constable Dennis Murray, supporting the plan in Thames Valley Police, introduced the event and was joined by a panel including Detective Chief Inspector Andy George, the President of the National Black Police Association. Other panellists included participants and alumni from across Police Now’s programmes, who are involved with force support networks and are passionate about championing equality, diversity and inclusion initiatives.
The event panel consisted of:
- Detective Chief Inspector Andy George | President of the National Black Police Association | Police Service of Northern Ireland
- Police Sergeant Latia Suen | Race Portfolio Sergeant | Vice Chair of the Surrey Police Association for Culture and Ethnicity (SPACE) | Surrey Police | National Graduate Leadership Programme alumna
- Police Sergeant Sanjeev Bhatoe | Positive Action Ambassador | West Midlands Police | Frontline Leadership Programme alumnus
- Acting Police Sergeant Lucy Williams | Positive Action Ambassador | Thames Valley Police | Frontline Leadership Programme participant
- Detective Constable Yvonne Newman | National Black Police Association Force Representative | Thames Valley Police | Frontline Leadership Programme participant
- Police Constable Manpreet Thiara | National Women of Colour in Policing Executive Member | Thames Valley Police | Frontline Leadership Programme participant
- Police Constable Innayah Aziz | Hate Crime Officer | West Midlands Police | National Graduate Leadership Programme alumna | Frontline Leadership Programme participant
- Police Constable Steve Beer | Community Cohesion Officer | Bedfordshire Constabulary | National Graduate Leadership Programme alumnus
- Police Constable Nilufar Ali | Ethnic Minority Network Co-Chair | West Midlands Police | National Graduate Leadership Programme & Frontline Leadership Programme alumna
- Detective Constable Babs Rock | Faith Liaison Officer | Metropolitan Police Service | Frontline Leadership Programme participant
The Police Race Action Plan sets out changes across policing to improve outcomes for Black people who work within or interact with policing. The plan was developed jointly by the National Police Chiefs’ Council and the College of Policing, working in collaboration with Black communities and partners – including the National Black Policing Association and an independent scrutiny and oversight board.
Through developing outstanding and inclusive policing leaders and working to tackle declining public confidence in the service, Police Now aims to create a more representative, diverse and inclusive policing workforce that truly reflects the communities it seeks to serve. Police Now consistently recruits, trains and develops more officers from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds than the national average and continues to support officers once they have graduated from Police Now’s programmes.
Assistant Chief Constable Dennis Murray QPM MSc, Chair of the National Policing Diversity and Inclusion Consortium said: “The Police Race Action Plan looks to deliver national and locally agreed outcomes relating to how we operate internally and externally. It is key that we are representative of all the communities we serve, and this is a key part of the plan. Black, Asian and ethnic minority communities will only have confidence to engage with us and join us if they are reassured that this is not a ‘tick box’ exercise. I can reassure them that it is not, and delivering the plan’s outcomes is essential to ensuring the culture of policing is fit for purpose and remains so.
“I am pleased to support the activity of Police Now and the event they have held will ensure that they are at the very heart of changing the culture of policing to be more inclusive and bring about real change.”
Detective Chief Inspector Andy George, President of the National Black Police Association said: “The National Black Police Association (NBPA) have been working with the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) and the College of Policing to develop a meaningful and impactful action plan to improve the experiences of policing for Black people. We believe the collaboration between the lived experiences of our members and the expertise in policing will identify problems and develop solutions that deal with the systemic nature of racism in policing.
“The event with Police Now builds on our existing relationship and creates a forum to further educate people on why the race action plan is needed and how it will help build an anti-racist and inclusive culture within policing.”
Police Sergeant Latia Suen, Race Portfolio Sergeant and Vice Chair of the Surrey Police Association for Culture and Ethnicity (SPACE) said: “The significance of the Police Race Action Plan must not be underestimated. Policing still has a long way to go in ensuring that diverse communities aren’t discriminated against through the systems and processes that underpin everything we do, and the plan sets out the intentions for tackling this. We have to accept that we have a special responsibility in policing due to our powers and role in society – because of that, policing must hold itself to a higher standard.
“It is crucial that we, along with other forces across the UK and organisations such as Police Now, wholeheartedly support this plan in order to make meaningful change that is tangible, trackable and the impact is felt.”
Police Constable Manpreet Thiara, National Women of Colour in Policing Executive Member and Frontline Leadership Programme participant said: “As a woman of colour and as a single mother I faced some challenges, but with the right support and guidance from my peers and seniors, I was able to follow my dream. Now I want to use my experience to support others.
“After the tragic death of George Floyd, the Black community’s confidence in policing needs to be reassured. The Police Race Action Plan sets out changes across policing to improve outcomes for Black people who work within or interact with policing.
“I was delighted when offered the opportunity to take part in this event. I am passionate about the Police Race Action Plan and am supporting it locally in force. The event not only allowed me to share my passion to support the plan and share what we are doing in our force, but also allowed me to learn from others. Now I look forward to sharing the learning with colleagues in my force.”