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Sussex Police Federation

Wrongly labelling the Police as institutionally racist “is not helpful and will not increase trust and confidence in Policing.”

13 December 2021

“If there is evidence of racism then robustly investigate it and please let’s leave no stone unturned… but unjustly labelling all Police officers institutionally racist would only make our hard job even harder.  

Federation reacts as Chief Constables in England and Wales consider making a “public admission that their forces are institutionally racist”.

According to a report in the Guardian newspaper – which has not been challenged by Chief Officers – members of the National Police Chiefs’ Council began debating whether to put out such a declaration/label on policing at a meeting in Manchester last week.

More discussions will be held in January, and a decision from police chiefs is expected in February.

Daren Egan, Chair of Sussex Police Federation, said wrongly labelling the Police as institutionally racist “is not helpful and will not increase trust and confidence in Policing.” 

He said: “As the Chairman of the Sussex Police Federation I am disappointed to hear reports in the media that consideration is being given by some Police leaders to label the Police as institutionally racist.”

“I have not seen any evidence that this is a large systemic problem.

“Sussex Police has sufficient processes in place to ensure officers maintain appropriate attitudes and behaviour towards all members of our community and I have full confidence that this will continue.

“A generation has passed since the Macpherson report back in 1999, the Police service has come a long way since then - many newly recruited Police officers were not born when the review took place.

“Almost all front line officers are recruited from their local communities and reflect their diverse values whist Policing these communities and keeping us safe. If there is evidence of racism then robustly investigate it and please let’s leave no stone unturned.

“But unjustly labelling all Police officers institutionally racist would only make our hard job even harder.  

“There are clearly some areas that the Police service needs to address, including to increase diverse representations amongst our ranks, particularly as Police officers being recruited from their own communities has always been an important part of Policing by consent.

“Ethnic minority police officers make up just 7% of our ranks, compared with 14% of the population. It is my own opinion that the current recruitment criteria introduced by the College of Policing has made the situation more complicated as well as falling pay and conditions and negative media reports affecting the attractiveness of the role.”

See the Guardian’s full report here https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2021/dec/12/uk-police-leaders-debate-public-admission-institutional-racism