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Police in the West Midlands are continuing their focus on recruiting new officers from under-represented groups to ensure the force looks like the communities that it serves. 

West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner Simon Foster hosted his Fairness and Belonging conference in Birmingham, to shine a light on how communities in the West Midlands are treated by police.

In particular, it looked at ensuring everyone is treated equally and in accordance with the law by the police, regardless of their race, gender, sexuality, religion or disability.

The event focused on the public’s trust and confidence in the police, with issues like stop and search and police recruitment being debated, particularly within black and minority ethnic communities.

It was held as part of the Police and Crime Commissioner’s marking of Black History Month.

The PCC, who organised the event, and the Chief Constable, Craig Guildford, both addressed the audience and took questions.

Mr Foster has pledged to ensure West Midlands Police recruits an extra 1,000 Black and Minority Ethnic Police officers, as part of its ongoing recruitment drive.

The PCC and members of the public, currently scrutinise the force’s Use of Force and Stop and Search processes, to ensure it is lawful, proportionate and fair. But both police leaders understand that trust and confidence in policing needs to be strengthened.

West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner, Simon Foster, said: “My Fairness and Belonging strategy, is all about delivering the basics. That includes a commitment to policing by consent; building trust and confidence; and eliminating any and all racism and unlawful discrimination, from within the criminal justice system.

“If we are to be as effective and efficient as possible at preventing, tackling and reducing crime, we need a police service that is made up of the brightest and the best – and that means a police service that is representative of all the people and communities it serves. My commitment to holding West Midlands Police to account to deliver on that, is absolute and unconditional.”  

Chief Constable Craig Guildford added: “We are working hard to uphold and reinforce the highest professional standards. We were able to talk about some of the progress we are making at the recent Fairness and Belonging event.

“This includes our commitment to the Police Race Action Plan and to ensuring we are more representative of the communities we serve, our scrutiny around the use of stop and search, and our work to promote deeper engagement with local people.

“We will continue to review our practices and work closely with our communities to build their confidence that we are here for everyone.”

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