Policing – No will to change

October 18, 2006
This is absolutely wonderful what I read here in the Times. As a serving police officer that has dedicated most of my service to tackling racism’s, institutional and personal, and against some Black and some White leaders, I am over joyed at the appointment of Dr Sentamu. From his days which resulted in the Stephen Lawrence Enquiry Report and his involvement in the Damilola Taylor murder, I know and feel that the only way things will change is when we are forced to change and that is not only in the police service, but in mainstream society. Whilst on the surface in the police service their appears a “will” to change, below that surface some of the service’s most aspirational leaders are deliberately not coming to terms with what is actually required to fruition the reccomendations made by Macpherson and Cantle. This will not be good enough now for Dr Sentamu.A policy here, a policy there means little if there is no will. Quite recently the Home Office prematurely ended the Stephen Lawrence steering group and just last week we were reminded that Anthony Walker was murdered because of the colour of his skin. If I talk a little about my faith, Hinduism, I am convinced that some Hindus remain oblivious to what is happening. It is almost as if people do not want to own things. As peoples we have to let go of our cultures to a certain extent and now unite and reform faiths.The reality of terrorism, the reality of race hate crime and the demise of multiculturalism will lead us to a new level of integration and I pray that it is Dr Sentamu that leads us through this change.What makes me smile most is that Dr Sentamu has scared the daylights of those that do not wish to change, and he has the leaders of the police service, and the Home office at his feet. This is good. We have to move away from forums and beaurocracy and tokenism and a yes sir, no sir, three bags full sir, approach that currently exists and results in a tick in the box or targets.The change and values I feel he wants to instill in modern day Britain are things only he can achieve with love and compassion, but if organisations and people refuse to listen, I tell you what, Dr Sentamu will continue to beat those drums and I will be able to hear them from York, not Africa, but from York!And this strength will allow me to continue in what I need to do too. I am now left pondering is Dr Sentamu a Hindu or am I a Christian. This is truly God’s work. By the way, as a firm England supporter, I note that David Beckham, the England captain, has a cross tattoed on the back of his neck. This only means that we are taking God with us to the World Cup in 2006! Britain and England has so much to offer that we are now in very exciting times. And what is best of all, is that whilst some Black colleagues inside the service view me as a bit of an outspoken “loose cannon” and stifle what I am trying to say, Dr Sentamu has made me feel free! Sir Trevor Phillips sounded off a serious warning sign that parts of the country were sleepwalking into ghettoism. But people simply are scared to talk about segregation or multiculturalism as issues that are here today in modern Britain. As people we can only live together if everyone shares the same views so to speak about life. In essence are our faiths different routes to the same place. Some faith leaders still argue that they are not. We all must accept that no faith is superior to the other; but today we are simply not at this position. Differences seem to cause racism and the fanaticism that we see in the extreme right wing is the same as the fanaticism of terrorism, but then racism in a milder form is no different to terrorism. There are also fine lines between integration and human rights and practising one’s own beliefs. Breaking down racial and religious barriers will require integration from us all and perhaps there will be a new level of multiculturalism. But all faiths must be ready to reform for what it is to be British, for in this we have a common identity. Whilst the CRE can lead councils, the police, afaiths to water, it is unable to make councillors, police and faith leaders drink that water. Some still feel the CRE has an agenda, and perhaps it has; I thought the agenda of Trevor Phillips was anti-racism. I hope now that the new Archbishop can add his weight to the debate of identity, race and religion.

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