Innovation Forum Inspires Ideas and Actions to Improve Policing for Black People

by | Jul 6, 2023 | 0 comments

The 2023 N8 PRP Policing Innovation Forum discussed how to ‘Improve Policing for Black People’.

Around 60 delegates gathered at the beautiful Roundthorn Hotel in Penrith on 21 June for the eighth Policing Innovation Forum, ‘Improving Policing for Black People: The Race Action Plan.’

Ngaire Waine, Nick Glynn and Paul Thomas answer questions @Scott Walker Photography

The Forum created discussion between a unique cross-section of voices, from leading academics – including keynote Professor Aisha Gill (University of Bristol), panellists Professor Iyiola Solanke (University of Oxford) and Professor Susan McVie (University of Edinburgh) – to senior leaders in policing and policy – such as director of the NPCC Police Race Action Plan Ch Sp Paul Thomas, ISOB member Nick Glynn, and Dr Andrea Banham, IOPC Policy Lead for Stop and Search – as well as emerging research from Dr Liz Turner (University of Liverpool), Dr Estelle Marks (Kings College University), and Dr Sharda Murria (Birmingham City University), and posters presented by Mark McKue (University of Hull) and Dominic Cox (Keele University).

Contributions from lived and professional experience in a panel led by Lancashire Constabulary’s EDI lead, Rozila Kana, and in the roundtable session delegates joined one of 5 projects on training and engagement, recruitment, vehicular stop and search, recording honour based violence, and improving the experience of being sectioned for black men. The discussions were led by Janett Walker (Anti-Racist Cumbria), Richard Stanton (West Midlands Fire and Rescue Service), Dan Hiles (Sussex Police), Dr Nikki D’Souza (Northumbria University), presenting findings from her N8 PRP Small Grant on recording HBVA, and Professor Joy Duxbury and Dr Alina Haines (Manchester Metropolitan University), presenting work from IMPROVE-ACT. 

Visual Minutes created by More than Minutes artists Becky Bryson and Holly Langley

Trust and Trauma, Accountability and Engagement

There were lively discussions throughout the day, captured by Becky Bryson and Holly Langley from More than Minutes. The poster, left, captures the major points from the day and gives a sense the diversity of voices that were included. Delegates also used #N8PIF23 to share their thoughts on Twitter.

The main themes were trust, scrutiny, accountability, engagement, and intersectionality. 

Delegates focused on practical questions, such as setting goals for measurable reductions in disproportionality, how police could implement trauma-informed procedures for interviews and arrests, whether knowledge and experience with a community other than ones’ own should be an essential requirement for recruitment, how scrutiny panels can led to meaningful accountability, and the importance of enabling and valuing engagement by providing funds and schedules that give people the chance to participate.  

Ideas and Action

Following the Forum, delegates were asked what ideas and actions they had taken from the event. Respondents said they had come away with ideas for future events, research projects, and publications, increased awareness of the subject and plans for further reading. 

What I took from the Forum were ideas and recommendations from the small groupwork exercise, as the three questions posed led you to be more forward-thinking and action-orientated in terms of impact and research ideas for the future – all actionable ideas!

Dr Nikki D’Souza, Northumbria University

Word cloud created from delegate feedback

Delegates also said they planned to look into changes in recruitment, engagement, and providing legal training for stop & search scrutiny panels.

The most common gain cited by delegates was collaboration and networking opportunities, and many planned to follow up with new contacts on new projects and research questions. 

Read more and access the presentations from the day at our full report of the 2023 Policing Innovation Forum