Black Policing in Nottingham under Review

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The University research into BME experiences of policing in Nottingham is almost complete and the results will be released later this June 2013. The exercise sought to find ways of improving policing among BME communities.

The research commissioned by Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commission in February 2013, sought to research Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) experiences of policing in Nottingham. Professor Cecile Wright who is Jamaican born and an honorary sociology lecturer at Nottingham University along with her team, Timothy Pickup and Sajid Muhammad won the tender, commissioned by Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commission. BME communities make up 25.2% of the city’s population. “The objectives of the research project are to gather information in relation to issues relating to the experiences of BME victims of crime and police satisfaction rates. We will examine black experiences of police ‘Stop and Search’ in Nottingham,” said Professor Wright. “The research will also generate and explore data regarding the recruitment figures of BME police officers in the Nottinghamshire Police Force as well as the service provision for BME communities."

The total number of crimes reported to the Nottinghamshire Police from September 2011 to 2012 total 5,396; a decrease of 15.6% from 6,391 the previous year. However, there is an increase of reported serious sexual offences to 59 instances from 51 the previous year and drug offences remaining approximately the same totalling 273, a decrease of just 1.8% from 278 in 2010.

Awaiting outcomes: Professor Cecile Wright

Tipping and Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner Chris Cutland, began a series of consultations with BME community groups and organisations in Nottingham. Patrick ‘Paddy’ Tipping is the Police and Crime Commissioner for Nottinghamshire after his election in November 2012.“I have set the ball rolling to ensure the black and minority ethnic communities have a stronger voice in policing and in promoting fairness,” said Tipping. “Police Stop and Search’ has a significant impact on public confidence in policing when it is not effective. This research project aims to understand the reasons behind the disproportion and to help me drive forward change.”

The research method was conducted through a questionnaire and completed by over 550 people BME people in Nottingham, over a three-month period. Recommendations from the research aim at strengthening police relationships with BME communities.

Professor Wright noted that the research had limited time and resources. However, despite these hindrances, they were able to spend time conducting interviews through focus groups and one to one interviews. “We spoke to lots of young people aged between 16 and 35 to get more detailed responses,” remarked Professor Wright.

Professor Wright, who is 55 and has lived and worked in the city for many years, believes that the results of the research will be the catalyst for improved services and community relations between the police and the BME communities.

“We will produce something substantive and credible and hope it will become a working document with recommendations that will bring about changes desired by Nottinghamshire Police and the BME communities,” argued Professor Wright.

Wright and her team were extremely thankful for all the cooperation and support offered by many people from BME communities. “We are very grateful for making themselves available to talk in confidence to us. They clearly see the issue of policing in relation to the BME communities as an important area that is in need of focus and serious consideration.”

Professor Wright completed twenty-one years of service as Lecturer in Sociology at Nottingham Trent University in 2012. She is one of only twelve black female professors in the UK.

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