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 engage 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 wit 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 not yet publicly available. A key aspect of the Police Plan of Action is initial scrutiny of its contents by the ISOB.
The outcomes framework for the Programme has been agreed by all 43 Chief Constables in England and Wales; setting out the underpinning aims of the programme. It has been informed by community and internal consultation but may be further developed in consultation with the ISOB Board once in place.
The Programme Board will be releasing Phase one of the Action Plan by the end of 2021, 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.
One of the first roles of the ISOB, once recruited will be to feed back on the Action Plan draft.
How can I sign up to the ISOB Community Diversity and Inclusion 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 civilians. If you would be interested in receiving updates about joining the forum, please register your interest at firstname.lastname@example.org