lower levels of trust and confidence in the police among some Black people
How are we driving forward the Police Race Action Plan?
Our plan commits us to four key workstreams, which further enable our communities to feel:
Represented: By being a police service that is representative of Black and ethnic minority individuals and communities and supports its officers and staff of a Black or minority ethnic heritage.
Respected: By being a police service that is fair, respectful and equitable in its actions towards Black and ethnic minority individuals and communities.
Involved: By being a police service that routinely involves Black and ethnic minority individuals and communities in its governance.
Protected: By being a police service that protects Black and ethnic minority individuals and communities from crime and seeks justice for them.
What are we doing to support the plan?
Since the launch, Merseyside Police has remained committed to delivering the Race Action Plan, running it as a programme of work with four main workstreams, each with a senior lead. The programme is supported by members of the Merseyside Police FORE (Focus on Race and Ethnicity) Network, so that it values and is influenced by lived experience.
The updates on each of these four workstreams are outlined below:
This workstream aims to ensure that Black people and communities are properly represented within policing with an internal culture that promotes inclusivity and supports their development and progression.
A review of recruitment and promotion processes is taking place to review, looking at data to explore where disparities occur and inputting ‘Positive Action’ support and training interventions.
Thanks to investment from our Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Emily Spurrell, the force is working with local training provider, the ‘Anthony Walker Foundation (AWF) to deliver Anti-racism training forcewide. The training has been designed to ensure all officers and staff can have a better understanding of the origins of racism, the impact of systemic racism in UK society and how this effects the relationship between the Black community and policing. The first sessions started at the end of April 2023 and are continuing to be rolled out.
Chief Constable Serena Kennedy has held three ‘Listening in Action’ sessions with officers and staff so far, which provide an opportunity for people to talk about how they believe the organisation can become more inclusive, whilst identifying outdated practices.
Implemented a new force ‘Outreach Team’ that works in the heart of our most diverse communities to build relationships and trust and encourage Black, Asian and Ethnic Minority people to work with us and join Merseyside Police.
This workstream aims to ensure Black people and communities are respected and treated in a fair and equitable way.
The force has conducted research to better understand use of more thorough searching by our officers. The use of body-worn footage is subject to a quality assurance process, to ensure it is used in the correct manner. Additional training has been given to officers and we have also invested further in our Safer Schools officers who work with our schools to safeguard children and young people.
We regularly work with the Merseyside Independent Advisory Group (MIAG) to review our use of Stop and Search. The MIAG is a diverse group of people and acts as a critical friend to the force, ensuring we police with legitimacy and professionalism and we have dialogue and engagement with our communities. We have also further developed our Public Scrutiny Panels to include use of force and to review police complaints and we are proud to be one of the leading forces in embracing this type of open feedback from our communities. Body Worn video of the encounters is shared within the review, any learning for the force or individual officers is fed back into the force to support us in improving public trust and confidence.
The force has developed its mobile devices to enable the recording of email addresses of the person being stop-searched should they wish to volunteer them. This means officers can send a notification to the person instantly and directly. The receipt contains key links to support services, knowing your rights, providing community intelligence and how to complain. The notification also allows a person subject to a Stop and Search to complete a questionnaire, another avenue for providing feedback.
This workstream aims to ensure Black people and communities are routinely involved in the governance of policing.
The force is in consultation with ‘Leaders Unlocked’, an organisation that enables young people and underrepresented groups to have a stronger voice on the issues affecting their lives, to include our existing Youth Independent Advisory Group and develop a Youth Commission. The Youth Commission on Police and Crime will provide a platform for young people to influence the future of policing and crime prevention in their local areas. Leaders unlocked have begun their stakeholder mapping exercise and are in the process of contacting local schools, colleges, youth organisations, charities and local authorities to market the project and recruit members.
In partnership with community members and local organisations, a basketball initiative has been launched in partnership with Liverpool One. This scheme was set up after we and our partners listened to young black voices in our community who expressed their interest in basketball but said how there was a lack of resources available for them to get involved. This will be an ongoing initiative that will help to provide a real opportunity to build enduring and effective engagement with young people through sport and to improve facilities and outdoor spaces in local communities. You can read more about this initiative in the news article listed below under ‘Updates’.
Officers from the Community Engagement Unit have been working with staff from a local organisation called Granby Somali Women’s Group in Liverpool 8 based on a number of concerns from the community around under reporting of hate crime against Muslim and other minority ethnic women and girls. An information session at the centre was held which was well received which has then formed the basis for ongoing engagement to improve trust and confidence.
Community Engagement Unit officers have developed a key stage 2 preventative pilot, “Hate makes me feel”, in partnership with Powerful Beyond All Measure (PBAM), a non-for-profit organisation that aims to improve confidence for victims and raise awareness of the support available based in the North of Liverpool.Merseyside Police and PBAM have worked to strengthen relationships between the community and the police addressing reasons why Hate Crime isn’t reported; building trust with the police to strengthen communities and enhance feelings of safety and belonging.
A separate scheme has been developed to improve trust and confidence with young members of the Somali community. The aim of the project is to improve engagement with the Somali community, and enable the platform to listen to their concerns, issues and needs in a safe space and an environment to learn from each other.A survey has been planned for the beginning and end of the programme, to track any changes in mindsets of confidence in police, which will also include any career considerations.
This workstream aims to ensure Black people are not ‘under-protected’ and are properly supported as victims of crime and as vulnerable groups.
We are putting dedicated Hate Crime Teams in each Local Policing area which will consist of dedicated, specialised Hate Crime Co-ordinators, who will ensure a consistent and professional police response through the gathering of intelligence, improving understanding and testing new of investigative methods.
We are developing a new force Hate Crime action plan, which will include bespoke objectives for Black victims, and it is hoped this will increase reporting, improve support and build understanding to be able to better challenge beliefs and attitudes.
Liaison has taken place with Investigation and local and regional Cyber teams to understand how the force delivers prevention and protection of people who are subjected to online abuse. This will include benchmarking of how we can improve and deliver a bespoke service for Black victims.
Exploratory work is being undertaken to map out the support services currently on offer for Black victims of exploitation. The force Prevention team are also being involved in this project that will help to build an action plan that will help protect them from becoming offenders.
Anthony Walker Foundation Anti-Racism Training
Thanks to investment from our Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Emily Spurrell, the force is working with local training provider, the ‘Anthony Walker Foundation (AWF) to deliver Anti-racism training forcewide. The training package, developed by AWF and Merseyside Police, has been designed to ensure all officers and staff can have a better understanding of the origins of racism, the impact of systemic racism in UK society and how this affects the relationship between the Black community and policing.
The training is a two-hour interactive session and has been designed so all officers and staff can have a better understanding of the origins of racism. We have actively commissioned the Institute for Educational & Social Equity (IESE0) who will be providing independent academic scrutiny of the training programme and its impact. This will establish the next steps and future integration of anti-racism themes within our Leadership training.
How can you support our Race Action Plan?
If you would like to share your views with the National Police Chiefs’ Council team who are leading the Police Race Action Plan, or ask questions or obtain information, you can do so by emailing: [email protected]
Alternatively, you may wish to share your views by joining the Merseyside Independent Advisory Group (MIAG).
The MIAG is made up of a variety of community members, each of which have an interest or background in something that might resonate with yourself. The MIAG advise police on an array of matters, including:
Stop and Search practices and scrutiny panels
Hate crime statistics
Wider concerns raised in the local area
Specific police training (Hydra)
They also provide a critical eye over policing in order to ensure that officers and staff continue to serve and protect the public and operate transparently.
To find out more information about the MIAG, please click here or alternatively, please contact [email protected] stating you have particular interest in Police Race Action Plan.
Dates of the next stakeholder meeting:
Wednesday 29th May 2024, 13.30pm. Community location TBC.
If you would like to attend either of these meetings in person or would like to dial in a video link, please email: [email protected]