Action for Race Equality (ARE) is delighted to announce the launch of an important new body, the Alliance for Police Accountability (the APA), which aims to transform policing and promote a new public health approach to addressing serious violence, and empowering Black communities across England and Wales. ARE will be operating as secretariat for this initiative.
Made up of a national network of local police accountability groups and esteemed individuals from across the UK, the APA hopes to build a unique nationwide picture of police failings, promote collaboration between communities blighted by discrimination and heavy-handed policing, and coordinate national responses to institutional shortcomings.
APA Launch event
The Alliance for Police Accountability (APA) is a coalition of groups representing anti-racism activists, women, and civil and disability rights. Its launch event on Wednesday 19th July at 10 AM at Lambeth Town Hall, London SW2 1RW brought together distinguished Black community leaders, activists and criminal justice experts, alongside victims of police failures from across the country, including Mina Smallman – who saw police officers jailed for taking and sharing pictures of her two murdered daughters.
Baroness Louise Casey, author of a damning report into the Metropolitan Police, which branded it institutionally racist, misogynistic and homophobic, provided a video interview at the event. Other speakers included:
- Andy George, President, National Black Police Association
- Lee Jasper, Chair of the Alliance for Police Accountability
- Leroy Logan MBE, former police superintendent and founding member of the Black Police Association
- Jeremy Crook OBE, Chief Executive of Action for Race Equality.
- Dr Wanda Wyporska, Black Equity Organisation Chief Executive (via video address)
The launch event was live streamed to audiences across the UK.
The need for Community-led Policing
Government evidence shows that Black people in the UK, from Merseyside and London to South Wales and the Midlands, are disproportionately more likely than white people to stopped and searched, threatened with a Taser and arrested.
Home Office data from 2021 found that Black people in Dorset were stopped and searched at a rate 20 times greater than White people; in West Mercia the rate was 14 and in Warwickshire it was 13 times higher.
In London there were around 70 stop and searches for every 1,000 Black people, compared with rate around 29 per 1000 Black people in the rest of in England and Wales.
Home Office data highlights the disproportionate impact of policing on Black communities across the UK, with much higher rates of stop and search, the use of police force during arrests and disproportionate charging rates compared to White individuals. Black people in various regions of England, such as London, Birmingham, Manchester, Merseyside, Dorset, West Mercia, and Warwickshire, are stopped and searched at alarming rates compared to their White counterparts.
Lee Jasper, Chair of the Alliance for Police Accountability stated:
“The APA launch today is driven by the long-standing frustration surrounding heavy-handed policing, discriminatory targeting, and the abuse of power experienced by Black, women, disabled and LGBTQ+ communities. Our core mission is to empower these communities by establishing national police monitoring network and fostering the necessary technical expertise to hold the police accountable effectively.
In addition, we are actively engaging with our communities to develop serious violence reduction charters that address the pressing issue of violence in our neighbourhoods.
Through these collaborative efforts, we aim to promote transparency, fairness, and accountability while challenging systemic racism and working with others to challenge misogyny and homophobia within police forces. We will forge a path towards trust, cooperation, and a safer future together.”
Dr. Wanda Wyporska, Chief Executive of Black Equity Organisation, said:
“The need for the APA has never been greater. The recent revelation that basic policing was ignored in the search for the murderers of Stephen Lawrence, and the inexcusable failings that led to the murder of Sarah Everard, are just two of the many examples of horrendous police shortcomings that need to be addressed. Communities are being let down by police forces that allow racist, homophobic, and misogynistic officers to wield extraordinary power with impunity. However, this is demonstrative of the systemic issues the force needs to deal with through root and branch reform. This situation cannot be allowed to continue a day longer.”
Chair of the National Black Police Association Andrew George said:
“The National Black Police Association is excited to join Alliance of Police Accountability in empowering communities across England and Wales to design a new and innovate framework for systemic change and structural reform of policing . Baroness Casey was the latest person to author reports outlining concerns around policing in London but we continue to support officers, staff and communities across the UK who are the victims of racism and discrimination. Policing has failed to reform on many occasions and this initiative will help the community to map out what they believe will create a police service we can all be proud of.”
Mandu Reid, Leader of the Women’s Equality Party, said:
“I am incredibly proud and honoured to be part of the launch of the Alliance of Police Accountability today. Although the government and police leaders shamefully continue to deny the institutional nature of racism in policing, we will not be deterred from making the case for radical change. Together, I know we can create the momentum needed to overhaul policing and decide what its future should be.”
Lord Simon Woolley, co-founder of Operation Black Vote, said:
“I warmly welcome the launch of the APA, a critical step in addressing the devastating impact of the Casey report. The urgent need for truth and reconciliation cannot be overstated, as it sheds light on the systemic issues of racism, misogyny, and homophobia within policing. By holding the police accountable and fostering collaboration, we can work towards reshaping law enforcement for fairness, justice, and trust in our communities.”
Former Met Police Superintendent and founding member of the Black Police Association Leroy Logan said:
“The cornerstone of police legitimacy is public trust that’s not just about high professional standards and integrity expected of officers, but it also needs the ethical leadership from the top to stop the disproportionalities in their powers over decades. The APA has emerged from these communities to help reverse the disproportionalities they have been subject to, by holding the police more accountable with the aid of the Baroness Casey review and other strategic tools!”
Jeremy Crook OBE, Chief Executive of Action for Race Equality said:
“ARE has been campaigning for police reform for many years. Regrettably the tragic murder of George Floyd and the global protests that followed did not result in better police and Black community relations based on respect, dignity and equity. Black communities demand for institutional change in the police remains unmet.
The Casey Review is unequivocal – the Met Police is institutionally racist, sexist, misogynist and homophobic. It doesn’t get any worse than this and it’s time for a new Black led, inclusive approach.”
For more information about the APA, including ARE’s role as secretariat, please contact Project Administrator Tara Shah.
For press queries around the launch please contact Black Equity Organisation’s press office at: firstname.lastname@example.org