Cumbria police has joined forces with an anti-racist group in the wake of George Floyd’s murder and the rise of the global Black Lives Matter movement.
Anti-Racist Cumbria will work with the police to analyse their dealings with the county’s black and minority ethnic individuals and communities and help address potential problems.
Chief Superintendent Sarah Jackson, of Cumbria police, said: “We acknowledge that nationally, following the murder of George Floyd and global calls for change, there is a lack of confidence in policing from black communities and we are keen to understand what this means locally.
“This partnership is an opportunity for us as a force to listen, learn, challenge and take action to ensure that we address any racial disparity and have the confidence of our black and brown communities.”
Early analysis has already shown that, although the numbers are small, there is evidence of disproportionality to individuals from ethnic minorities in areas such as stop and search and fixed penalty notices,
“Our officers also attend incidents and investigate crimes against people who are targeted due to their racial background,” said Chief Supt Jackson.
“It’s important that our officers respond effectively, support individuals, and are trusted to actively tackle racism by bringing those who commit crimes to justice.”
Janett Walker, chair of Anti-Racist Cumbria, said: “It’s encouraging that Cumbria police are being proactive on the issue of racial disparities within its force and we welcome their desire to not only be proactive but to also recognise that it’s important to listen and learn.
“We are pleased they have taken the opportunity to work with us in what is an extremely important step for our county and we look forward to working together.”