2. Chief Constable national Race Action Plan update
“We can’t be having the same conversations 10 years from now” - Gloucestershire Chief Constable Rod Hansen
At the end of August the public survey asking for views on the national Police Race Action Plan closed. It is now incumbent on the service to take on board the feedback and ensure the plan is fit for purpose.
I have already made clear my position on the importance of the plan and how vital it is to eradicating all forms of hatred from our organisation and ideally society. It is an opportunity we cannot afford to miss and one which, here in Gloucestershire, we have already been working with pace and purpose to start implementing it in its current form.
In recent years there have been many steps forward in this county thanks to our Better Together approach, including the introduction of unconscious bias and bystander training, the creation and ongoing contribution of the Community Legitimacy Panel, the work of the independent Stop and Search Scrutiny Panel, radical changes to how we try to recruit from our diverse communities and increased education and events about black history. However, I acknowledge there is still a long way to go.
We mustn’t deny the lived experiences of members of minority communities, coupled with the data relating to some areas of policing activity (such as stop and search), which continues to provide evidence of institutional racism as set out in Sir William Macpherson’s report.
We will aim to learn from history and improve our education and understanding of what it is like to be on the receiving end of policing – that is our way ahead. It will include, of course, targeting those who continue to believe that discriminatory behaviour is acceptable - it is not – internally or externally.
As Chief Constable, I am determined to ensure we are not having the same conversations 10 years from now and I believe the national Police Race Action Plan provides the detailed map to get us where we need to be.
I believe unequivocally that committing ourselves to becoming an anti-discriminatory organisation is the right thing for us to do. This means not only acting in a non-discriminatory way, but addressing systemic inequalities, disadvantage and discrimination. It fits with our values, with our Corporate Strategy, and in how we want to police our county – with the full consent and support of all the communities who live in Gloucestershire.
I want us to be at peace with our approach to race and inclusion and to be proud that we belong to a Constabulary that acknowledges, in a spirit of humility, our previous mistakes and misjudgements - but which is committed from now on to become an unconditionally anti-racist and anti-discriminatory organisation.