Britain’s only black police chief reveals he has been stopped and searched SIX TIMES by officers who asked him: ‘What are you doing round here?’
- Festus Akinbusoye is the police and crime commissioner for Bedfordshire
- He revealed he had been stopped and searched by officers six times
- He said one officer asked Mr Akinbusoye ‘what he was doing round here?’
- Another cop told Mr Akinbusoye that he ‘matched the description’ of a suspect
Britain’s only black police chief has revealed how he had been stopped and searched by officers six times despite never breaking the law.
One suspicious officer asked Festus Akinbusoye, who used to serve as a special constable: ‘What are you doing round here?’
Another time he was told he ‘matched the description’ of a suspected criminal police were hunting for.
Mr Akinbusoye, who was elected police and crime commissioner for Bedfordshire in May last year, welcomed the new Race Action Plan from the National Police Chiefs’ Council.
Festus Akinbusoye, police and crime commissioner of Bedfordshire, pictured, has revealed he has been stopped and searched six times by officers, who used excuses such as he ‘matched the description’ of a suspect and ‘what was he doing around here?’
Mr Akinbusoye said ‘black communities face poorer experiences with policing and the wider criminal justice system’
He said: ‘I bring my own lived experiences into this role, of growing up as a young black man in London, and now as a parent to three black teenagers in Bedfordshire.
‘It is sadly still the case both here in Bedfordshire and across the country, that people from our black communities face poorer experiences with policing and the wider criminal justice system overall.
‘The poor experience and disproportionality that affects black people is found across the spectrum of interactions with the police, including stop and search, use of force, victim care and court sentencing.
‘Within policing, black people’s experiences of recruitment, retention, promotion and conduct issues are more negative than for their white colleagues.
‘The data is indisputable, and despite the Macpherson Report of nearly three decades ago, not nearly enough has been done by those in police leadership nationally or locally to improve these very long-standing issues.’
‘But I am reassured by the work that has gone into the Race Action Plan and the commitment from chief constables and the College of Policing to its delivery.
‘I am assured that tangible change is coming. I am pleased that having acknowledged and accepted these longstanding issues still exist, police leadership is facing up to the need to ensure we need to do more to build trust and confidence within our black communities, and to reduce the disproportionality that continues to exist.
‘Our Chief Constable here in Bedfordshire, Garry Forsyth, has been at the forefront of driving this national change, and we all benefit from his leadership and commitment to the Race Action Plan. Bedfordshire Police has the lowest disproportionality rate for stop and search in England and Wales – an achievement recently recognised by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate.
‘It is just part of the progress we have made here in Bedfordshire.’