West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson has responded to the government’s announcement of a commission to examine racial inequality. He said:

“I welcome this commission. It is long overdue and much needed.

“In particular I welcome the focus on stop and search. At a national level the government have given mixed signals by weakening their own best use of stop and search scheme, and in some areas that has created a free for all again. For example on section 60 stop and searches the government lowered the rank at which police officers needed to sign off on those wide ranging powers.

“In part due to concerns about disproportionality West Midlands Police did not take up the full range of powers offered to us.

“I hope this review also focuses on the structural inequalities that have plagued society for too long, in particular on economic issues to ensure all young people feel like they have a stake in society.

“Earlier this week I announced that out of the 2,750 new police officers we are recruiting in the next three years 1,000 will be from BAME communities. I urge the government to take a similar bold approach nationally and for specific professions where there is underrepresentation. If they do not, we risk missing out on the huge talents of all communities.”

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