The Home Affairs Committee calls for urgent action to tackle low levels of BME recruitment and retention, unjustified racial disparities in the use of stop and search and other police powers, and a worrying decline of confidence in the police among some BME communities.
Twenty-two years on from the publication of the Macpherson report that followed the Inquiry into the racist murder of Stephen Lawrence, the Committee has found that whilst policing has changed for the better in many areas, there are still serious and deep rooted racial disparities, and that neither police forces nor governments have taken race equality seriously enough for too long.
Adults from Black and mixed ethnic backgrounds are less likely to have confidence in the police than adults from White or Asian backgrounds, and the confidence gap has widened over the last few years. 67% of White adults say they believe the police will treat them fairly compared to 56% of Black adults. All victims of crime should feel confident in turning to the police for help. That Black people have much lower expectations than White people that they will be treated fairly and with respect by the police is a matter of deep and serious concern.
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The Macpherson report recommendations on increasing trust and confidence in policing in minority ethnic communities are not being met today. This needs to become a priority for police forces and the Home Office; all forces must set out clear local plans to improve confidence among BME communities.