Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Paddy Tipping.
During his tenure as Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Paddy Tipping set himself the target of making Nottinghamshire the most welcoming county in the country, a place where people can be who they are without judgement or fear. To this end he has funded the publication of two of our comics to help raise awareness of issues faced by new and emerging communities. Here he reflects on the decisions that have shaped his time in post.
The murder of Stephen Lawrence 27 years ago shook the very foundations of society and woke Britain up to a shameful truth. What happened in the aftermath changed our country forever, owing to the relentless efforts of Stephen’s parents, Neville and Doreen Lawrence OBE, now Baroness Lawrence of Clarendon.
Today, all victims of hate crime in Nottinghamshire whether victims of racial hatred, religion, sexual orientation, transgender identity or disability, receive the specialist support they deserve to cope with their experiences. Their reports are sensitively handled and we are legally bound to robustly investigate incidents, using new powers and legislation to ensure perpetrators of these abhorrent crimes are effectively dealt with.
Such reforms have encouraged many more victims to come forward but there is still an awful lot of work to do. Hate crimes are the result of deeply entrenched thought processes, perceptions and stereotypes that have no place in a modern world. They must be broken down and eradicated before they have the opportunity to cause harm.
Nottinghamshire is a rich mixture of races, cultures, beliefs, attitudes and lifestyles. I want it to be the most welcoming county in the country, a place where people can be who they are without judgement or fear.
Central cuts to public sector funding have restricted the proactive work we are able to deliver. Community engagement work is vital to understanding local needs and resolving tensions but we have fewer resources and police officers than we did 10 years ago. It is still desperately important that we work with those groups most likely to face hostility to protect them and ensure they know where they can go to receive help. As PCCs we are using our budgets where we can to support integration, fund cohesion projects and give minority communities a stronger voice but there is no doubt that more funding is needed to improve the scope and availability of this outreach work.
Britain is more diverse than ever before. Nottinghamshire is a rich mixture of races, cultures, beliefs, attitudes and lifestyles. I want it to be the most welcoming county in the country, a place where people can be who they are without judgement or fear.
As Nottinghamshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, I’ve learned that happy and thriving communities are those based on trust and mutual respect. We’ve worked hard to restore trust towards the police within the BAME community and strengthen a relationship that suffered through the failings of our institutions in the past. Hatred of any kind divides communities but failing to support victims in the right way is equally damaging.
Over the past nine years, I’ve invested in services which bring people of all backgrounds, lifestyles and experiences together to celebrate diversity and deconstruct cultural barriers and misunderstandings. I continue to work with our community partners and the voluntary and non-profit sector to support services which raise awareness of hate crime, safeguard vulnerable people who are at risk of hate crime and highlight how to access help.
The number of victims self-referring to our services is increasing every year which is positive and shows our awareness work, and the joint efforts of our police and partners, is having an impact.
Nottinghamshire also stands side by side with every police force in England and Wales in its commitment to become truly representative of its local communities and to ensure all serving staff and officers have full encouragement and support to climb the career ladder.
The new recruitment opportunities will enable us to exhaust a number of new approaches to attract candidates from a variety of backgrounds and experiences over the coming months.
It is unacceptable to display hostility and bigotry towards somebody because of a perceived difference and it is our collective responsibility as citizens of Nottinghamshire to stand up to it when it happens.
No one organisation or individual can bring change on it is own. We need to work together. Together we will make a difference.
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