There are very few things that have been more shocking to watch than a video of a man being held down and killed by police who should be protecting their community.
Like many people, I have watched in horror this month (June 2020) at the violence that black communities have experienced across the ocean. I absolutely condemn the actions of police who have violently retaliated against peaceful protests.
However, there are states in America that are learning the lessons about policing and proving that change is clearly possible. Camden in New Jersey formed a countywide police force after disbanding their police department and adopted a very strict ‘use of force’ policy and made it easier for the city to fire rogue officers. They are showing that aggressive policing doesn’t have to be the norm, and evidence from New Jersey has shown that this sort of policing can be supported by the community, even lowering crime rates.
We know that the UK is different in many ways to the USA, however racism still exists in our society and more must be done.
In terms of our local policing, I have written to Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester, asking him to investigate how we can address racism in our own police force and support a principle of supportive and positive community policing for all.