Alex's new role will help bring police and people together

Torbay Weekly

My name is Alex Santos and I decided to join the Devon and Cornwall community scrutiny panel, with the purpose of creating, strengthening and maintaining a healthy relationship between the community and law enforcement.

With the current racial tensions happening in the United States of America, it’s easier to judge and become complacent of our allies across the pond, as opposed to drawing parallels and highlighting the same issues within the United Kingdom.

According to the statistics provided by STOPWATCH, which extrapolates its data from stop and search figures provided by the Devon and Cornwall police, black people are 8.4 times more likely than white people to be targeted for a stop and search in 2018/19. This is a surprising statistic as according to the website, the percentage of Black, Asian, and minority ethnicity (BAME) people is estimated to be around 10 per cent as of 2017.

This is not to say that racial profiling is the only issue that will be dealt with by the DCCSP. I understand that a lot of issues also revolve around the fact that most stop and searches occur within lower income areas.

The DCCSP aims to look over body camera footage of officers during stop and search procedures, and will aim to objectively scrutinise it in accordance to the legal standard and procedure. Our aim is to create an open line of communication for the community and better educate members of law enforcement about how to engage.

I am a BAME person myself, and I would like to see a change in those statistics in order to create more equal and fair society.

Through the goals set out by the DCCSP I believe that we will be able to create a better environment for dialogue between the community and law enforcement.

I would like to call to all those who are interested in improving their communities relationship with law enforcement to become part of the DCCSP.

This will become an important cornerstone in our society, as we will work towards lessening any biases law enforcement may have towards the community, whilst also providing a way for the community to voice its grievances.