Hertfordshire Constabulary hosts its first Race Inclusion Board meeting examining stop and search practices

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13 volunteers participated in the first meeting of this kind held in the county

Hertfordshire Constabulary held its first Race Inclusion Board meeting on Friday (10 March).

Volunteers from the Black community were invited to scrutinise and give feedback on policing in the county.

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After a police appeal for participants 13 residents agreed to take part in the Race Inclusion Board.

Officers and Race Inclusion Board members at Friday's eventOfficers and Race Inclusion Board members at Friday's event
Officers and Race Inclusion Board members at Friday's event

Hertfordshire Constabulary believes it is the first meeting of its kind to take place in the country.

It is hoped by getting an outside perspective on policing that the service provided can be improved for everyone.

It was held at the Police Headquarters in Welwyn Garden City where, on this occasion, police use of stop and search was the subject of discussion.

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Presentations were given on the laws and other considerations that underpin its use by officers.

The property was linked to anti-social behaviourThe property was linked to anti-social behaviour
The property was linked to anti-social behaviour

Also, information was given on how supervisors review all the stops, and the independent Stop and Search Scrutiny Panel works to check how they were conducted – even viewing body-worn camera footage.

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Volunteers gave their views on the controversial police practice, speaking to both senior and frontline police officers, including the impact it has on the community.

Hertfordshire Constabulary set up the meeting as part of its commitment to the National Police Race Action Plan.

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A strategy has been launched to address race disparities affecting Black people and change a legacy of distrust.

The plan seeks to create an anti-racist culture and values and behaviours within policing. It is hoped that this will help improve relations between police force’s and minority groups throughout the country.

Superintendent Nev Hanks, the force’s strategic lead for Race, said: “I would like to thank the board members for their time. We have set our stall out to become an anti-racist organisation and a key part of that is having voices from the Black community heard on challenging issues like stop and search.

“Understanding alternative perspectives on policing tactics is the only way we can improve the service we provide for the whole community. In the coming meetings we will also be looking at how we can better protect Black victims of crime, improve Black representation in our workforce and ensure we engage effectively with the Black community in Hertfordshire.”