Hertfordshire Constabulary fully supports the new Race Action Plan being put together by the National Police Chief’s Council (NPCC).
The draft plan outlines a series of proposals for all forces to become anti-racist organisations and better understand Black communities.
The aim of the plan is to give police officers the tools they need to build trust and confidence with Black communities, so that they are better equipped to challenge racism and to identify and address any engrained cultural biases that may be fuelling racial disparities across policing.
It seeks to create an anti-racist culture, mindset, values, and behaviours within policing, which will inform all operational policing practice, improving the experience and outcomes for Black people.
It will also enable the lived experience of Black communities, officers, and staff to have a direct influence on police policies and practices going forward.
The new plan complements the work already taking place within HertfordshireConstabulary and the tri-force (Beds, Cambs and Herts) units to address race disparities in policing.
Work currently underway within Hertfordshire includes a ‘Positive Action’ campaign aimed at encouraging a more diverse workforce; supporting and working with the Hertfordshire Black and Asian Policing Association; the formation of a new Diversity, Equality and Inclusion Unit within the force; work to incorporate and promote local Black history into the learning and development of staff and a special race input in student police officer training.
We are also in the process of setting up a Race Inclusion Board, which will be made up exclusively of volunteers from across the Black communities in Hertfordshire and will be supported by the Chair of the Herts Black and Asian Police Association.
The board will be updated on how the constabulary is progressing against the action plan and there will be opportunities to attend and observe police operations, take part in ride-alongs and to observe some operational, tactical and strategic meetings.
In addition to this, anti-racism training and a new anti-racism policy launched across Beds, Cambs and Herts forces in April this year, aimed at embedding a zero-tolerance approach to discrimination in the workplace and to educate, empower and motivate colleagues to become advocates for change in the drive to tackle racism in all its forms.
All Black officers and members of staff in Hertfordshire Constabulary will also be offered the opportunity to complete the Black workforce survey on their experiences in policing, which was rolled out to all forces at the end of May.
Chief Constable for Hertfordshire Charlie Hall said: “I want our Black communities to have the highest levels of trust and confidence in the Constabulary. I also want policing to be a career of choice for Black people in Hertfordshire and for my Black policing colleagues to be able to rise to the highest ranks in the service. To this end Hertfordshire Constabulary is participating fully in the aims and actions of the National Police Race Action Plan.
“The launch of the National Police Race Action Plan is a clear statement by all police forces that though much has been done in past years to address racism in police and society it has not been enough.
“It is not enough for the police just to be not racist. We need to be institutionally anti-racist; to actively look at how policing works and challenge our procedures, operations and policies to remove bias, discrimination and racism.
“Here in Hertfordshire, we have been working towards these aims for some time and will use the new NPCC plan to assist and strengthen our efforts still further.”
The initial plan has been launched alongside a national survey to get the public’s view and help shape the final version of the plan, which is due for publication later this year.