Merseyside’s Police Commissioner Emily Spurrell said, “Today marks a year since the tragic death of George Floyd, murdered whilst being taken into police custody.
“While being in the midst of a global pandemic, George Floyd’s murder must become a pivotal moment in history, a reckoning for racial justice across the globe, a defining turning point that says ‘no more’. It should not have taken yet another life cut short to bring this about, but it is our shared responsibility to ensure it is the last time institutional racism is allowed to inflict its devastating consequences.
“This has, rightly, prompted a discussion, here in the UK, about challenging racial discrimination, the importance of diverse, accountable policing, and the importance of working hard to improve the levels of trust and confidence in our police service.
“As your Police Commissioner, I will work tirelessly to drive out discrimination in all its forms, and call for institutional change and greater accountability.
“I have already begun this work by looking at the recommendations from the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities recent report.
“As the recommendations state, I will look at police public encounters and the monitoring and scrutiny of stop and search powers, Section 60 authorisations and community involvement in this work. I will highlight and build on current practice that sees community members review body worn footage of police stops and I will ensure my Force Inspection programme of scrutiny robustly identifies any disproportionality, as well as areas for improvement.
“It is vital that all communities on Merseyside have confidence that their police are working to keep them safe and I will look to build bridges and create partnerships between police, partners and communities – ensuring a truly co-operative and community-led approach.
“It is also vital that a police force reflects the diversity of the public it is there to serve. Our police service is founded on the principle that ‘the police are the public and the public are the police’. I will continue to scrutinise the recruitment and retention of police officers and staff to encourage diversity across all ranks. I am committed to working with the police staff networks, as well as the Independent Advisory Group to promote the work they do to tackle race equality and highlight other areas for reform. To be frank, we must do more and we must do better in this vital area.
“I look forward to working with everyone across Merseyside to work towards equality. Racism or discrimination of any kind has no place in society and no place in our diverse region.”
Image: New Police Crime Commissioner Emily Spurrell. Pictures Jason Roberts.