By: Sattwik Biswal
BRITAIN’S most senior police officials are expected to make a public admission that their forces are institutionally racist, the Guardian has reported.
It said discussions began on Thursday (9) and their adviser said declaration are to be made if to be believed by BAME communities. According to the Guardian more discussions are expected in January, with a decision from the police chiefs likely to come in February.
The black people’s confidence in policing lower when compared to the white people. Moreover, the police chiefs have admitted this damages their fight against crime.
The National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) have appointed barrister Abimbola Johnson to chair an independent board for reforms.
In order to make policing anti-racist, institutional racism has to be first admitted, Johnson said. “The plan needs to accept institutional racism, if it is to be anti-racist,” she was quoted as saying.
“If the idea is to win the trust of black communities, policing needs to start by acknowledging both the historical and current manifestations of racism in policing.”
It was the Macpherson report in 1999 that first officially labelled policing as institutionally racist. There is a smaller proportion of ethnic minority officers in policing compared to their white counterparts.
Last year the Metropolitan police commissioner, Cressida Dick, told the MPs that policing was not institutionally racist and said it was “not a label I find helpful”.
“I don’t think we’re collectively failing. I don’t think (racism) is a massive systemic problem, I don’t think it’s institutionalised, and more to the point I think we have come such a very, very, very long way,” she had said.
Johnson added: “Reluctance to admit institutional racism comes from emphasising the comfort of the wrong people over the experience of black people. For this programme to work, it needs the police to have conversations that are uncomfortable for them.”