Whilst welcoming the acknowledgement from David Thompson Chief Constable of West Midlands Police; that there is a problem with racism and discrimination, when it comes to their interaction with members of the black African/Caribbean community.
His apology comes at a time when in order to get this matter on the agenda despite years of advising them of this, it has taken six complaints of the use of excessive force against black men in Birmingham since the 27th of February 2020; for which one police officer has been suspended having been involved in 40 incidences and a second officer being suspended for an incident that occurred in Digbeth Birmingham.
Furthermore the fact that the killing of George Floyd and the mass protests across the UK has forced him now to make this admission is quite sad, as this is not only historic, however, also a current issue.
It has been some 21 years since the publishing of the MacPherson report which the public probe into the racist killing of Stephen Lawrence in 1993.
Hence, the question the racist behaviour of police is nothing new and why after such a damning report 21 years later are we still talking about this?
I do believe that the time for talk is over and now is the time for action in ensuring that this type of behaviour towards members of the black community ceases forthwith.
I do believe to achieve this the Chief Constable will have to be courageous in adopting a zero tolerance approach towards racism, as at a time when he is seeking to employ or recruit 1000 BAME officers, how can this be achieved when trust and confidence and community relations are low?
I do believe that an appropriate action plan needs to be put in place urgently in order; to build bridges with the aim of developing, greater trust and confidence that will ensure that more members of the BAME community apply to become Police Offciers in the future.
Let us make no bones about this change must come and we cannot teach a Police Officer who is racist not to be racist; you sack them and replace them with officers that can police are great diverse communities equally.
16th June 2020