Fairness and Equality Scrutiny

The importance of ethnicity monitoring has increased in recent years, and is now firmly established in policing. As new legislation is enacted, a monitoring function is often incorporated within it.

Ethnicity monitoring

Specific requirements are placed on police forces to conduct ethnicity monitoring, and to publish the results annually. These requirements come from a number of sources, including the Race Equality Scheme (R.E.S.) and Commission for Racial Equality (C.R.E.) guidance. Recommendation 62 of the McPherson Report into the death of Steven Lawrence states that stop and search records should be monitored and analysed by Police Services and Police Authorities, reviewed by HMIC during inspections, and that information and analysis should be published and made available to the public. In addition the force is obliged to supply ‘section 95’ data to The Home Office on a quarterly basis.

The importance of ethnicity monitoring has increased in recent years, and is now firmly established in policing. As new legislation is enacted, a monitoring function is often incorporated within it.

HMIC inspections at BCU level in recent years have focused on both operational and employment monitoring issues.

Significant benefits, both internal and external, can be delivered through ethnicity monitoring. The primary reason that monitoring is encouraged is to ensure fair and equitable service delivery. Many communities feel they are discriminated against by public authorities, in particular the Police. There is a long standing perception that the police use stop and search powers disproportionately against members of black and minority ethnic communities (BME).Monitoring is one way for Humberside Police to demonstrate fairness and equality of delivery, thus increasing the levels of trust and confidence.

Diversity Monitoring Group

The force Diversity Monitoring Group was introduced in February 2007 to examine performance in relation to operational and employment issues. It sits quarterly and is chaired by the Deputy Chief Constable. Participation in the process by external representatives, covering the seven strands of diversity, is essential to give the process credibility. This is achieved through inclusion of Independent Advisory Group members, and a community representative on the Scrutiny Panel. Panel members include;

  • The Deputy Chief Constable
  • Divisional SMT Diversity Leads
  • Youth and Community Cohesion Unit Inspector
  • Head of Human Resources Development Branch
  • Force Training Manager
  • Inspector PSB
  • Police Authority diversity representative
  • Police Authority performance manager
  • IAG representative
  • Community representative

The terms of reference for the group are as follows;

  1. To review, on a quarterly basis, all diversity data relating to operational and employment
  2. issues;
  3. With a view to identifying anomalies;
  4. And taking appropriate action to address the anomalies,
  5. Or alternatively giving an explanation for their existence.

Data for each quarter is examined, and compared to 2001 census return data. Comparisons look both at Humberside as a whole, and the Divisions individually. It should be noted that communities within Humberside have changed dramatically since the census figures were published in 2001, however national best practice dictates that the census data is used by the majority of forces. Analysis also assumes that those people encountered by Humberside Police actually live within The Humberside Police area. This should be borne in mind during the scrutiny process.

Due to the built in time delay in inputting data, when meeting, the Panel examines data from one quarter in arrears

Public Sector General Equality Duty

The Public Sector General Equality Duty requires public authorities, including Humberside Police, in the exercise of their functions, to have due regard to the need to:

  1. Eliminate discrimination, harassment and victimization and any other conduct that is prohibited by or under the Act.
  2. Advance equality of opportunity between people who share a relevant protected characteristic and people who do not share it.
  3. Foster good relations between people who share a relevant protected characteristic and those who do not share it.

As a public authority we are covered by specific duties of the Act to demonstrate our compliance with the general equality duty. Below are documents which demonstrate our compliance.