Greater Manchester Black and Asian Police Association (BAPA) stands in Solidarity with Metropolitan Black Police Association (Met BPA) on the matter of defunding of the United Kingdom’s first established Black Police Association.
We call for a national response to the decision of the Metropolitan Police defunding of the Met BPA and the treatment of other associations around the country.
Despite the need to challenge what we see as a perverse and somewhat devious action on the part of the leadership of the Metropolitan Police, we would also send the message strongly that the end of funding does not mean the end of the BPA, and by extension the end of our supporting our communities on the issues that matter such as Fairness and Justice.
The Met BPA has a constitutional commitment to improving service delivery to our communities and over the years has often been the lone voice within the service challenging racist corruption, this was illustrated very clearly during the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry when the Met BPA’s testimony to Sir William MacPherson stood out in contrast to colleagues who were all too willing to follow the ‘party line’ and continue to do so.
This has happened time and again whenever the Metropolitan Police has been under scrutiny for its treatment of minority groups particularly black people.
This is an issue of National significance.
Over 50% of the BME population reside within the Metropolitan Policing area and London is the capital of our nation. We therefore all have an interest in maintaining a strong and effective Met BPA. The National Police Chiefs Council [NPCC] discussed recently a paper set forward by its Equality and Diversity lead which acknowledged the significance of race and policing within a historical context and the need for particular focus on these issues. This makes the Met Police decision all the more bizarre.
We take issue in the strongest possible terms to the suggestion, by the Metropolitan Police, that the views of the BPA should somehow be represented and thus filtered by senior officers as opposed to the BPA representing itself. This suggestion is an outrageous insult to all of us.
We as Black Police Officers and Police Staff have stepped up to the responsibility of fighting discrimination and creating a fair and equal place of work within Policing. Leaders within Policing need to remember that Black people pay taxes too, however we will never step back from this responsibility, with or without funding.