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Black Voices Cornwall take on Devon & Cornwall Police


1.Does the Force have an Anti-racist policy.

The Force does not have a specific Anti-racist policy, but we do have a structure which enables us to give due regard to anti-discriminatory legislation. This structure includes a Hate Crime Policy, an Equal Opportunity and Diversity policy, Scrutiny panels which interrogate real life examples of Hate Crime, Stop and Search scrutiny, Equality Objectives, our Independent Advisors structure, and Equality Impact Assessments on every policy, to enable us to assess the impact our decisions are having on people from the list of the Equality Act Protected Characteristics. The National Police Chiefs’ Council are currently in the process of designing a Plan of Action for inclusion and race equality in policing; when this is published our intention is to consider whether this would be fit for purpose for our own Force area, and then decide whether to adopt the plan or whether to adapt it to our specific local requirements. This afternoon (Monday 24th August) ACC Jim Colwell will be going to an Executive meeting to discuss the idea of developing a distinct Anti-racist policy as part of Operation Oakleaf.


2. A more current and modern method of reporting is needed to bring us into the 21st century.

At present there are a range of ways to report. These include 101, 999, 101 email, Webchat, text for Deaf, Hard of Hearing and Speech impaired people, 3rd Party Reporting Centres (in some parts of the Force area), online hate crime reporting, online general crime reporting, True Vision, Stop Hate UK and police offices. We are investigating the use of social media and text as we recognise this method of communication is preferred by many people.


3. Would the Force be willing to consult with local external organisations such as Black Voices Cornwall as we continue to bring about racial equality in Cornwall?

Yes, we would be pleased to consult with organisations such as Black Voices Cornwall and to welcome some of the members into our Independent advisor structures, which would give these individuals access to scrutiny of our work as described above. Engagement with these advisors is an extremely high priority for us, as is contact with all our Key Individual community members. We will be guided by you on the exact nature of this consultation and engagement.


4. Would ACC Colwell be prepared to make a public open statement outlining the steps the force will be takin to tackle the institutional racism within the force and also the regional racism. I have contacted colleagues at the BBC who are willing to host ACC Colwell.

ACC Colwell has agreed that, in principle, he would be willing to do this. He will need to consider about the best way in which to do this, and to take advice from our Communications team. This is a second issue that he will take to the Executive this afternoon. We would like to ask if a representative from Cornwall Black Voices would be able to join us in any proposed BBC meeting, in order to achieve a balanced perspective, and to demonstrate that we will be working together, and that we will need your help and support in order to make the changes crucial to improved race relations.


5. Would the Force endorse the resurrection of a REC in Cornwall and offer a representative to sit on the council?

Yes, we would endorse the resurrection of the REC in Cornwall. It is unlikely we would offer a representative to sit on the Council as there are so many organisations that we are in contact with. We do not currently have a representative on the Board of Plymouth and Devon Racial Equality Council but do attend meetings with specific agendas. We would however definitely want to advocate for a REC, as there is clearly a need for this important service.


6. Will the Force agree to publicly publish the statistics shared surrounding racism?

Yes, these figures are in the public domain and we are considering how best to publish them.


7. Can the Force share any measures that are in place to deliver anti-racism talks in schools?

 I am doing some further research in this area in order to give you a clear picture. 


8. Will the Force carry out a review of the current anti-racist training?

Yes, there is a review of the current training underway as part of Operation Oakleaf.