Black British police chief 'stopped and searched six times' welcomes new Race Action Plan

On one occasion he was told he "fits the description" of a suspect wanted by the police

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Britain's only black police chief has disclosed how he had been stopped and searched by officers six times, despite never infringing the law.

Festus Akinbusoye faced question from various officers, one of whom probed him: "What are you doing round here?"

Enduring invasive searching and questioning, Mr Akinbusoye was informed he "fits the description" of a suspected criminal police were searching for.

Mr Akinbusoye was elected as Police and Crime Commissioner for Bedfordshire in May 2021, and has completed over 400hrs of service as a Special Constable with Bedfordshire Police.

The Police Race Action Plan launched on Tuesday, and aims to tackle discrimination, addressing unfairness in the way black people are treated, and boosting the number of black officers and staff.
The Police Race Action Plan launched on Tuesday, and aims to tackle discrimination, addressing unfairness in the way black people are treated, and boosting the number of black officers and staff.

In a speech on 23 May, Mr Akinbusoye welcomed the new Race Action Plan form the National Police Chief' Council saying: "I am the first, and currently, the only black PCC in the country.

"I believe I am also the only PCC in the country to have been stopped and searched six times for reasons ranging from ‘matching a description’ to being asked by an officer: 'What are you doing around here?'

"I bring my own lived experiences into this role, of growing up as a young black man in London, and now as a parent to three black teenagers in Bedfordshire."

He went on to add that: "The Chief Constable will continue to be held very firmly to account by me for how Bedfordshire Police delivers policing to all our communities."

The plan launched on Tuesday this week and aims to develop trust and confidence in policing among black communities.

Officers will now be equipped with the tools they need to challenge racism and identify and deal with any entrenched cultural biases that could be stoking racial disparities within policing.