THE INDEPENDENT Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) has welcomed a new report that plans to address disparities of police’s use of stop and search on the black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) communities.
The report, published today by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS), details the disproportionate use of police powers on certain communities.
It also follows The Voice’s recent online live event where members of the black community put their questions over policing to a panel of experts, including the Regional Director of the IPOC Sal Nassem.
The new report acts as reinforcement and commitment to longstanding change, the IPOC said.
It found that police forces remained unable to explain why their powers are used disproportionately based on ethnicity and jeopardise losing further trust in these communities of they cannot show that the use of stop and search and use of force are fair.
In July 2020, the IPOC raised concerns over the impact this was having on BAME communities and lack of “police accountability.”
They increased attention on investigations surrounding racism to identify trends and patterns to find long-term solutions.
This included a review into Taser complaints that required more than 100 of their investigations involving Taser use and allegations of racism since 2015 to be analysed.
IOPC Director General Michael Lockwood has praised the report and stressed that he hoped it will build trust among BAME communities and the police forces that serve them.
“Only by understanding the causes of this disproportionality – and helping officers to understand fully how their use of stop and search and use of force impacts on those most affected – can we start to make the changes that are needed,” he said.
“The HMICFRS report highlights the fundamental shift we need to see in the culture of policing in being open and accountable when concerns are raised.
“I welcome this report and its findings, which reflect what we have been told by communities as part of our own work. That is why we made 11 recommendations in October to help the Metropolitan Police Service improve its use of stop and search, all of which were accepted by the force.”
He later added that the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) continues to work on its action plan for inclusion and race equality in policing.
“[I do] hope that today’s report, as well as our own work to drive the real change needed in policing, will be taken into account as part of this project.”