We talk about empowering our community to engage in the political and civic process, but, when the system of Governance fails to deliver justice that is balanced for all people; this just leads to further disaffection to the point where people become so silent. They don’t even want to talk or highlight their own personal experiences no matter how unjust.
Why is it that public bodies instead of being accountable to the public that they serve, constantly try to give excuses instead of admitting their failings and ensuring they basically ‘do better’?
I believe that this is owing to their own personal lack of leadership skills.
Jesse Jackson talked about leadership out of oppression and a part of leadership is standing up and being counted, admitting when you’ve got in wrong, learn from it and move on. It is after all, basic fundamental wisdom.
May be if this approach was adopted when dealing with members of the public and indeed those from disaffected communities then one could have meaningful engagement with them as opposed to the apparent tick box exercises that appear to exist.
The case of Shakeil Jackson from Handsworth this week which has been publicised, demonstrated that despite all of the engagement programmes, meetings, conferences, there is still an issue on the ground with the delivery of Policing in this matter, as a Young Man was not listed to by Officers, who seemed to be intent on just locking and leaving him in a cell and leaving him to stew, irrespective whether or not he was telling the truth.
15 hours in a cell is ridiculous, when this young man was clearly at Thornhill Road Police Station reporting his motor bike stolen, whilst the incident was taking place.
One must ask a question, why continue introducing young people to Police Cells and then say you’re committed to developing them.
During the publicity of this incident, many people have told us of their experiencing of especially Stop n Search, for which The West Midlands PCC Bob Jones is hosting a summit this Friday 20th September at Tally Ho; we have heard some shocking stories, however, people are too frightened to speak up and complain.
Although they are confident that others will support them through the process, they are still frightened. This has also highlighted another issue compounding disaffection, as people are losing faith in a system that they feel is against them.
Remember, if you don’t complain then it is assumed that everything is being done correctly and change will never come.
I can only encourage people of this and its biblical “The strong are here to help the weak”
Don’t watch your relative, friend, child or neighbour sit there in silence. Their voice is just a valuable as anyone else’s they may not feel it, but, it’s up to us to show them the way.
As for our young people, let’s stop the talk and build the road to a brighter future for them to continue the legacy.
Importantly remember, we are here to help, you’re not alone.
Have no fear in making the next or your first step forward, were waiting.