Panel to tackle racial policing: Barrister is tasked with improving relations between police and black community after inquiry finds ‘deep-rooted’ racial issues
- Report found stop and search more racially disproportionate than 20 years ago
- Black people nine and a half times more likely to be stopped than white people
- A Commons committee found no evidence to support this disproportionality
A leading barrister has been asked to help improve relations between police and the black community after an inquiry found ‘deep-rooted’ racial disparities.
Abimbola Johnson will lead an independent ‘scrutiny and oversight board,’ the National Police Chiefs Council announced last night.
A report from the Commons home affairs committee found last week that the use of stop and search was more racially disproportionate now than 20 years ago.
Miss Johnson said: ‘Black people have been disproportionately affected by policing for decades, as reflected in the reams of statistics.
‘Many of us have had, and know of others, who have had personal experiences with the police that have been unsatisfactory, unfair or even harmful.
‘I hope the creation of an action plan and a parallel independent board to inform, oversee and scrutinise that plan marks a recognition by the police that the onus is on them to look inwards.’
A report from the Commons home affairs committee found last week that the use of stop and search was more racially disproportionate now than 20 years ago (Pictured: Two men being searched by officers during the Notting Hill Carnival in August 2017)
The report found that black people are more than nine and a half times more likely to be stopped and searched than white people but the inquiry found there was no evidence to justify the scale of this disproportionality.
MPs also warned that – at the current rate of progress – it would be another 20 years before the police forces of England and Wales were properly representative of the population.
Miss Johnson, who specialises in criminal and professional regulatory defence work, will work with the NPCC and College of Policing to establish a plan to address these issues.
She added: ‘Having been entrusted with a high level of responsibility that I shall take extremely seriously, I will endeavour to recruit a board that will fearlessly advocate for the interests of black people, while working collaboratively to develop policing that wins our trust and delivers on public protection.’