Commissioner doubles down on commitment to community engagement
Published on 12th June 2020
The Police and Crime Commissioner for Cheshire has pledged to double down on efforts to improve community relations in light of recent events following the tragic death of George Floyd.
Mr Keane has committed to ensuring that this Summer’s scrutiny programme focusses on progress on equality matters, including any complaints against police relating to racism.
Mr Keane also expressed his solidarity with all who wish to make their voices heard for equality and against racism of all kinds by joining a livestream of the Black Lives Matters assembly in Chester on Sunday, which was attended by over 1000 people. David had appealed for peaceful and socially-distanced activity and was pleased to see it passed peacefully.
David Keane said, “I was shocked and appalled by the senseless killing of George Floyd at the hands of a police officer in Minneapolis. The actions of those officers has the potential to undo decades of progress in building trust in policing here in the UK. I stand alongside all those who call for justice and accountability.
“I believe that now is the time for British policing to lead by example with integrity and courage. We must do more to ensure our organisations are representative of the communities they serve. We must be prepared to regularly re-examine our methods of policing. And we must redouble our efforts to engage with all of our communities. Most importantly, we must listen carefully and we must learn and respond. It is not enough to simply talk about ‘not being racist’ – we must be anti-racist if we are to have any hope of being on the right side of history when we look back.
“Whilst I recognise that we still have a long way to go, I think it is important to recognise the progress that has been made in Cheshire. Back in 2016, the government suspended Cheshire Constabulary from the Best Use of Stop and Search scheme.
“During my first year in office, I supported the Constabulary in making improvements that led to readmission to the scheme later that year. Consistent improvements have also been made in making the workforce more representative of our communities.
“However, policing leaders must confront the fact that we still have a long way to go. I know that the staff, officers and volunteers at Cheshire Constabulary are dedicated public servants with an incredible sense of duty to the communities they serve. I want to thank them for the empathy they have shown to all those who are legitimately angry.
“I am proudly committed to the British policing model, which is built on the tradition of policing by consent. This founding principle needs to continue to guide everything we do from this point.
“Policing has a vital role to play in delivering stronger, safer and fairer communities. But it can only do this if it has the trust and confidence of the public. We can and we must stand up to inequality and injustice wherever we find it. I have already discussed this with the Chief Constable and have ensured that these matters form part of my scrutiny programme in the coming months.”