Agenda item

Stg Steve Bedford, Guest Speaker, Northamptonshire Police


Steve Bedford introduced himself and the role of the IAG - in essence the role of the IAG is to be a critical friend, to act as a conduit to communicate with all local  communities particularly those which could be described as hard-to-reach, to challenge the police about local, national or international issues that may impact confidence in policing and to assist us during major or critical incidents where community representatives can facilitate two way flow of information.


Our existing IAG has diminished considerably in size and representation,  whilst a lot of effort has been put into reinvigorating the IAG this has ultimately proved unsuccessful.  It has been agreed that we can link in with the existing Borough Council Forums to fulfil the functions of the IAG.  There are 4 IAGs in the county, the Northampton IAG is the only one currently looking at this new approach but if successful could become a model for the other districts to follow.


·       Rather than host separate meetings a Northampton district policing representative will attend Forum meetings

·       We would like the Forums (either through the chairs or directly) to raise any concerns specific to that group to the policing representative so that they can respond directly and the response can be shared among the wider community via the Forum – if issues are raised before the meeting there will be an opportunity to invite specialists along too.

·       The police representative will on occasions present draft policy or process for feedback.

·       Forum members may be invited to specific IAG task/finish groups to look in detail at an issue

·       Police representatives may from time to time need to contact Forum members directly to seek urgent feedback about local issues of concern (e.g. serious crime in an area)

·       Forum members may be approached to work alongside Police press officers or senior officers to aid communication with target groups*+


For Forum members assisting with the last three tasks marked * there will be a need for Northamptonshire Police to retain their personal data.  This data will not be used for other policing purposes, will not be retained on police information systems and individuals will not be subjected to speculative searches on police information systems.  For those assisting with the final task marked + there may be a requirement to sign confidentiality or non-disclosure agreements.


Cllr James Hill asked if there were any questions: -


Q1. Concern was raised about the officers who would be delivering at the forums, experience had shown that some officers did not understand the people they were presenting to.  SB advised that they had a network of hate crime champions / officers and one would hope officer would be fully versed.


Q2. Cllr Sam Rumens asked since the George Floyd movement questions had been raised and there were / are serious problems, or there might be – ‘is there any work going on in Northamptonshire being done to understand and responded? SB advised yes, over the last three years unconscious Bias training, tackling unconscious bias in recruitment – rethinking workplace diversity.  SB added that there had been a lot of protests and it is important to have IAG to gain feedback from the community – felt that the police had the right tone but would welcome feedback.  Action: Agreed to discuss at a future forum meeting – JW to arrange.


Q3. Diana Belfon advised that Unconscious Bias training is not that effective – can you share what type of culturally training is in place for the police officers, our community is diverse – is the training cultural competency? What is the content? Is it just on-line or one to one meeting?  Diversity is not just about the colour of skin.  Action: Agreed future agenda item – JW to arrange with SB for an officer to present on training


Q4. Jenny Campbell raised concern with the comments – BLM have a platform; I am a REC active member / volunteer for over 30 years, and I have challenged.  We need to collate all the information, pool resources and work together.  John Rawlings added it is very challenging - the important question is that this is not just black / white – this is cultural.  (JR left the meeting).


Cllr J Hill thanked Steve Bedford and agreed that JW would be in touch to arrange agenda items / speakers for our next meeting. SB left the meeting.