RAISING BLACK AND MINORITY ETHNIC PEOPLE’S CONFIDENCE IN POLICE SERVICE AND ENCOURAGING GOOD PRACTICE THROUGH COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT
Mosaic took an initiative to conduct a community survey (1) to find out the reasons why BAME residents feel there’s a gap in the relationship between Police and BAME communities regarding equality and fairness in matters of law and citizen rights.
Mosaic’s approach is to provide a culturally appropriate platform for local police to foster community relationships.
Mosaic, along with the MPS and WCC formed a Round Table discussion, which took place once quarterly to address the current climate concerning residents and their families including the rise in youth crime, BAME youth being targeted for stop and search, anti- social behaviour taking place in communal areas and women’s safety on the streets which was heightened due to an unfortunate incident of the case of Sarah Everard. Women’s trust in male police officers was a topic of round table discussion with senior MET officers and Westminster councillor, Heather Acton. This highlighted new fears amongst women. Questions were brought forth to the officers on how to recognise abuse of powers within the police force and staying safe. This guideline (2)was disseminated by Mosaic advocates to local mothers within the community, helping them to understand how to recognise and manage such incidents.
An action plan was drawn up with feedback and suggestions on ways to address some of the points raised by the community during the round table meeting, including safer neighbourhoods and knife crime. with the following main aims:
• To understand the concerns the community feel and to agree priorities for the Police to address
• To co-design solutions to the challenges
• To co-deliver solutions to the challenges
• To monitor and review, and feedback to the BAME community in the ‘You Said We Did’ approach.
The following Activities were identified after the first Round Table Meeting in July 2021:
1 The mosaic community trust- survey on police and policing in the community March 2021 2 Guidelines from the MET police- What to do if approached by a non-uniformed Police officer?
1. Engage with parents to empower and upskill them to divert youths from gangs and crime (including working with Westminster Early Years Intervention Programme).
2. Community events to bring together parents, WCC and MPS with children and young people to improve trust and confidence and deliver positive messages to children and young people.
3. Any specific family cases to be supported by the partnership.
4. Ensure better engagement between schools and the partnership.
5. Youth clubs – Circulate those in which we have trust and raise the issue of those clubs with which we have concerns.
6. Bring Westminster schools representatives into these meetings.
7. Continue ongoing monthly engagement with mothers.
8. Youth activities (eg football etc) to start again with communities and MPS. 9. Pop up stalls with MPS, advocates and WCC.
Mosaic held a pop-up stall with the local ward officers of Church Street to promote and help build a trusting and positive outlook on policing. We had 38 BAME residents, 14 male and 24 female approach our stall. 3
Due to Mosaics presence, communities were less hesitant to approach police with their queries and concerns, encouraging them to communicate openly, and confidently. Residents praised Mosaic for facilitating and organising such collaborations.
Another event Mosaic was involved with was the Football tournament between police and youth. Mosaic provided homemade snacks and refreshments for both teams. The food was well received. “I would like to say Big Thank You for providing snacks for the football match between youth and police officers on the 10th of December. It was a very kind gesture from the MOSAIC woman & girls. Food was amazing and literally gone within seconds. All the support, work, and commitment you do for the communities is very inspiring. It is showing great strength from woman and girls how we all are equal in the society.4
Mosaic is facilitating and organising monthly police workshops, inviting local police officers and Community engagement officer Becki. The topic for discussions is community-led. The outcome of such workshops has been positive. BAME residents feel at more ease when talking to the police and have gained knowledge and understanding on various topics, including, rights regarding Section 60, reporting a crime, how to protect your children from gangs and staying safe on the streets.
Gradually, we are seeing a change in behaviour of BAME residents towards police officers, they are more open to having discussions and feel confident in expressing their views. BAME residents are more recipient in taking advice from the Police and these are the results of the monthly workshops and police round table discussions.
MCT and the MPS plans to continue this community based intervention and partnership to strengthen community relationship with the Police.