The government has outlined its long-term plan to address racial disparities in the United Kingdom through changes in policing, health, and education. The new “Inclusive Britain” action plan includes more than 70 measures.
It includes increased scrutiny of how police use stop and search powers, as well as changes to how ethnicity data is collected. In response to the Black Lives Matter protests in 2020, Inclusive Britain was created.
This resulted in the formation of the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities, which issued a series of reform recommendations organized around three key themes: building trust, promoting fairness, and creating agency.
Among the new measures are:
A new national framework for police powers such as stop and search, with increased local scrutiny
An “opt-in” pilot program to assist ethnic minorities and others in receiving legal advice while in police custody.
A new Office for Health Improvement and Disparities has been established to improve health for all.
By 2024, a diverse panel of historians will create a new knowledge-rich Model History Curriculum that will explore Britain’s historical past.
Employers can get advice on how to measure and address the ethnic pay gap.
Equalities “This is at the heart of our levelling up agenda,” said Minister Kemi Badenoch MP. It is broader and more comprehensive than any other review of race and ethnicity in this country.
In Birmingham, Inclusive Britain was officially presented to business leaders, charities, and public figures.
Racism is still a problem in some parts of the UK, according to Somia Bibi of Himaya Haven, a Birmingham-based support group that assists families of loved ones in custody or prison.
“Institutional racism comes in many forms, especially in the criminal justice system,” she explained.
However, Naseam Kaid, a Birmingham Street watch co-ordinator, believes that good progress is being made. “You see a lot of Asian and black officers around now, especially in my neighbourhood,” he said. “There’s more diversity and better training in police work now.”
Last year’s independent commission was heavily chastised for downplaying the impact of racism and the structural barriers that ethnic minority communities face.
And Halima Begum, chief executive of the Runnymede Trust, believes the proposed changes are insufficient. “We welcome any measures which will begin to address racial and socio-economic disparities,” she said.