The NBPA have failed?

April 28, 2007

Written to a senior Officer whom I respect, (Reproduced).

(Reproduced) I wish to bring these thoughts to you. I have been made aware that a recent meeting within ACPO where the Federation, LAGPA, and the NBPA were represented, that certain rather disturbing views were being relayed. I am a little incensed and offended by what I have heard.

Firstly there appears to be some concerns amongst the Senior Leaders about the so called rise and funding of different associations, e.g. the Muslim Police Association, The Sikh police Association, the Jewish Police Association, etc. In short I am led to believe that the police service cannot afford to fund and resource these groups. I am not so surprised that sitting in a group these senior officers should take these stereotypical views that groups will want funding; perhaps they simply want a voice.

I believe it was also brought to the table that since the Federation were representing these groups, it was questioned what purpose such groups really served in that there was a perceived duplication because those present could only “umm” and “arr” and offer nothing extra. Sir, the question that these senior colleagues might ask is why is there such a rise in these groups? The term, “Black” within the NBPA movement was supposed to incorporate the feeling of racism. Clearly it does not. These senior colleagues then might wish to consider why the NBPA is perceived to be failing in it’s duty. (The NBPA does not give all groups a voice, instead it gives those in power a voice and a free hand. And if theu don’t understand what they are doing then they will fail). From this very simple assertion and “table round” talks I would make the following observations:

(1) If ACPO feels these groups are not bringing things to the table then these groups are bringing “incompetent” people to the table. The NBPA for example does not consist of the best skilled people in the field of race and diversity and this is because it was the wish of the NBPA and the Senior Officers to ensure that prior to election, the relevant member received Chief Officer approval for secondment. (Chief Officers are hardly likely to release staff that would rock the boat.) Hence the NBPA is a controlled group to an extent. This may answer why around the table these support groups could only “umm” and “arr.”

(2) The fitness of purpose of the NBPA and BPA’s for example is full of inherent racism’s and discriminations because those in charge have sought personal power, and this has led to the growth of the different groups. This seriously begs the question as to the agenda of the NBPA and how people get there. A simple analysis of the qualifications of those in high positions within the NBPA should reveal the disparity between those in charge and others outside who are sidelined.

(3) In itself the problem is that Chief Officers have themselves set up an NBPA for example that is like a “nodding dog”, something that is loyal, yet barks to get attention in order for mutually beneficial deals to be done, deals which do not necessarily move the issue of race forwards, but tranquillise the issues and maintain the power of those within. And sadly for ACPO to then “rubbish” support groups in this way is a little tongue in cheek but entirely racist, for it is they that have caused the problems. Finally there are many Black officers with qualifications who do have a perspective to offer and we will continue to do so with or without the NBPA or ACPO.

By all means please pass this paper to your peers. It might give them a wake up call that we are not all like “nodding lap dogs.”

Recently added – The NBPA’s funding may have been frozen and Jarrett suggests he was not in power when the alleged irregularities occurred. There is no misconduct, but I believe he knew what was happening, he is though incompetent. If what I believe to be the case is true, that a Senior official of the NBPA met with Mugabe, then I too am lost, I have no time for racists, and Mugabe is one of them. The question I ask is, was the Home Office aware that a Senior member of the NBPA did meet with Mugabe and that this visit was essentially funded by the NBPA. Anyone that thought that the NBPA could influence Mugabe is misled. So why the visit? Did Jarrett know about the Mugabe issue? What was the purpose of the visit? The NBPA is not about jollies but many use it for this purpose. It is about ensuring Lawrence and other murders don’t happen, and ensuring some fairness inside. If the service only lets incompetent people in, then the service sets the group up to essentially fail. And in my opinion Jarrett is incompetent on some issues of race as are other members of the cabinet. The essential question is why qualified members cannot get in? And why some of the people accused of irregularities have used Jarrett and others to take the legs of other more honest Black members who are qualified in race?



  1. This is a sad event that will ultimately give ammunition to those critics and bigots who feel that Black people are not equipped to hold positions of influence within the Police Service yet!

    This is a completely illogical response but one that I have heard only too many times when a Black member of staff is accused of failing in their duty in one way or another.

    The sad reality is that the NBPA was started for the most well intentioned reasons which still exist today, but somewhere along the line the reason for being seems to have been overtaken by the desire to permanently exist and become part of the fabric of the Service. Immense skills were displayed by those early champions in the movement, but alas there was and retains little sign of cohesion amongst its members on how best to challenge the evil that is racism.

    The Home Office are being somewhat disingenuous towards the NBPA for they have known of their financial naivety since their establishment in 1999 and have actually done very little to help resolve this situation, by way of development assistance.

    This innocence about how to ‘keep the books’ is no excuse for what at the least is financial and overall managerial obtuseness on the part of the present as well as the past executive cabinet members who are by default ALL trustees of the Association before the Charity Commission.

    I can only hope and pray that a new National Black Police Association is born out of the ashes (for this could be the end of the road for a Government backed organisation), a new NBPA would hopefully cast aside its desire to retain financial slaves to ‘the establishment’ and seek to develop from within. A new NBPA would benefit from being truly supportive of diversity and shed the ‘silo’ mentality that holds all ‘interest’ groups back and allows their critics to ignore what they have to say.

    As for fault, I hope that no financial impropriety is found apart from the obvious foolishness that has already been discovered. Although the NBPA has not have been as effective as some of us would have hoped, it has at least existed and been a thorn in the side of those who wish to blatantly ignore basic human rights within the Police Service. For all its own blatant ‘isms’ there are many people within its membership, both past and present who truly wish to see the dawn of an equitable and ethical service where both staff and the wider community are ‘judged not by the colour of one’s skin, but by the content of his or her character’.

    This situation to the ‘committed’ members and friends will be difficult to deal with and will be a set back, but ultimately it is just another hurdle which has to be overcome. I wish all these people well!

  2. Dear Serendib, my comments were rather harsh, borne out of frustration. Thank you for balancing the views. We can only hope for a new and more professional NBPA. Thank you….

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