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Some Frequently Asked Questions about the ISOB

Why is the focus of the Police Plan of Action on Black communities?

The College of Policing and the NPCC made the decision to focus their efforts on Black communities through this Action Plan due to the starkness of the racial disparities present in policing's interactions with Black communities. For example:


The most recent national figures (Crime Survey of England and Wales 2020) suggested public confidence in their local police currently varies by ethnicity. The national average of all respondents stood at a 74% trust level.


Respondents of Black heritage reported lower levels of trust:

  • 54% Black Caribbean

  • 62% Black Other

  • 66% Mixed White/Black Caribbean

  • 69% Black African


An NPCC report - Understanding Disproportionality in Police Complaint & Misconduct Cases for BAME Police Officers & Staff 2019 – found disproportionality in the amount of allegations, and subsequent severity assessment and action taken in complaint and conduct allegations between White and Black, Asian and Ethnic Minority officers.


The most recent national data (2021) for stop and search shows that there were 6 stop and searches for every 1,000 White people, compared with 54 for every 1,000 Black people.


Home Office statistics for 19/20 show that Black people were eight times more likely than White people to experience Tasers being drawn on them or discharged.


Read further here Martin Hewitt’s (Chairman of the NPCC) interview with The Voice newspaper, 29 March 2021.

What is the status of recommendations made by the ISOB?

The Board will be acting in an advisory capacity. Its lack of statutory power has been highlighted as a potential weakness by the Home Affairs Committee in “The MacPherson Report: Twenty-Two Years On.”


The Plan of Action is being developed at the behest of all 43 police forces in England and Wales and represents a joint effort of the NPCC and the College of Policing. The Plan’s legitimacy derives from the public accountability and scrutiny represented by the ISOB and its Forum. There is therefore a vested interest within policing for the ISOB’s work to be taken seriously. Robust terms of reference, ways of working and detailed decision making structures have been drawn up to ensure clear working pathways.


The ISOB will work as transparently as possible and remain actively engaged with the public. Statutory bodies such as the HMICFRS and the IOPC have seats on the Programme Board and Police and Crime Commissioners are engaged with the Plan too. Finally there do exist circumstances in which the ISOB Chair can write as an individual to the Home Office to give direction under s.40 Police Act 1996 to forces that fail to discharge any of their functions in an effective manner.

Where can I find the text of the Action Plan?

The Action Plan is available to download from the National Police Chiefs' website here


This represents Phase one of the Action Plan setting out the initial priorities and actions for the first phase of the Programme. It will set out the highest priorities for the Programme in the coming year and the actions they will take to achieve them.

At the same time, the Programme is running a survey on the contents of this interim plan which you can access here.

The Police have set the following roadmap for the next six months:

  • 24th May – Police Race Action Plan: Improving policing for Black people published in its first iteration and public survey on the plan launched;

  • May - October – the Plan will be subject to engagement and scrutiny from a wide range of stakeholders, and feedback will be analysed, considered, and publicly reported upon;

  • The ISOB will scrutinise the Plan and the approach to delivery.

  • Work will be undertaken to determine timeframes for delivery of the actions.

  • 28th August - The public survey on plan closes

  • December– the second iteration of the Plan will be published, containing further delivery detail.

Dates for final sign off and publication of the Plan may change, depending on the extent of changes required after consultation and scrutiny from the ISOB. 

How can I sign up to the ISOB Accountability Forum?

The Board will meet with its Forum at least quarterly. Depending on COVID restrictions, meetings will be held in different regions across England and Wales and will allow for physical and virtual attendance.


We are interested to hear from a representative range of voices, particularly those with lived experience; and those with a background in criminal justice and anti-racism work. For example: charities and NGOs; independent advisory groups; police and crime panels; local community groups and members of the public. If you would be interested in joining the Forum, please sign up to our mailing list here

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