The Metropolitan Black Police Association (MetBPA) is committed to ensuring that the black communities of London receive the best possible service from the Metropolitan Police. In partnership with the community we help to identify weaknesses in police service delivery and in turn help facilitate solutions.
Our Community Action programme provides an opportunity for local people, many of whom had been suspicious of the police and would never dream of participating in local panels or forums. However our community programmes build trust and confidence within the community and in turn provide a platform for further community involvement.
One of the major challenges facing modern day policing is the need to engage effectively with all communities and citizens. However, a cocktail of mistrust, past histories, stereotyping, cultural misunderstanding and misconceptions have to lead to a situation of disengagement between some sections of the black community and the police. Disparities in stop and search where young black men are seven times more likely to be stop on the streets of London also contribute to the environment of mistrust.
The phase ‘Hard to Reach Communities’ is often used as a cloak to disguise a lack of proactive outreach to the communities. As a consequence many in the black community feel their needs are not addressed or taken into consideration. The MPS Safer Neighbourhood strategy goes some ways to addressing this, however a lot more proactively is needed. The MetBPA have developed it’s own community engagement strategy. We have started to tackle some of these issues with a sophisticated programme of community engagement and problem solving initiatives.