By KLTV Newsdesk –
Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime, Alison Lowe OBE, has released a statement ahead of the start of Black History Month tomorrow.
In the statement, the Deputy Mayor highlights their vision for a ‘safe, just and inclusive West Yorkhsire’.
They also mention the work being done to implement the Association of Police and Crime Commissioner (APCC) Action Plan on Race Disparity which aims to ‘drive forward progress in tackling race disparity in policing and criminal justice and help to tackle the lower levels of confidence that some Black communities have in policing’.
The statement comes at a difficult time for many communities, not least those of the Ashbrow Ward, following the death of 15-year-old Khayri Mclean on 21 September 2022.
The full statement can be read below:
Black History Month is an extremely special time for me and it is a privilege to be able to mark it as the Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime in West Yorkshire.
I work closely with the Mayor of West Yorkshire, Tracy Brabin, to oversee policing on behalf of the people of West Yorkshire.
Our commitment to equality can be no better summed up than in the vision in the Police and Crime Plan for West Yorkshire. A high-level document that sets the strategic direction for West Yorkshire Police and our community safety partners. That vision is of a safe, just and inclusive West Yorkshire. Those words sit proudly and prominently on the front cover and it’s something we will champion in all of our work.
Nationally, I’ve strived to have a key role and I am the Association of Police and Crime Commissioner (APCC) Lead on Equality Diversity and Human Rights, Deputy Lead for Integrity and Transparency and joint chair of the APCC Working Group on Race Disparity.
I’ve joined colleagues to implement the APCC Action Plan on Race Disparity which sets out a range of actions and measures that PCCs are taking in their local communities to drive forward progress in tackling race disparity in policing and criminal justice and help to tackle the lower levels of confidence that some Black communities have in policing.
Locally I have been working with the police to increase representation. I’m pleased to be able to say over the last 12 months it has increased, with over 17% of new joiners being from Black, Asian, mixed or other backgrounds. It’s crucial the police service looks like the people it serves and we still have a good way to go in West Yorkshire but the progress is encouraging. I also scrutinise West Yorkshire Police’s use of stop and search and their use of force, to ensure that these are used fairly, appropriately and any anomalies are challenged.
Progress and setbacks sometimes come hand in hand, and I think a lot of people will be aware of what happened to the David Oluwale plaque in Leeds. Whilst it’s unthinkable as to why anyone would seek to steal or desecrate a memory of the dead, the response from the local community was and is truly heartening. Plans to reinstate the plaque had to be moved back due to the Queen’s passing but there will soon be a prominent reminder, and a proper celebration to boot.
We also have more to celebrate with the Mayor’s Safer Communities Fund which continues to distribute grants to community groups making real differences at a grassroots level. A number of projects funded under the scheme target equality, diversity and inclusion, a cross-cutting theme from the Police and Crime Plan.
The theme for Black History Month this year is action, not words. I always want to be judged on my actions and I will continue to do my utmost for a safe, just and inclusive West Yorkshire.
To find out more about Black History Month and how you can get involved visit https://www.blackhistorymonth.org.uk/