Great Britain
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Cressida Dick admits Black women’s trust in policing has worsened in last year

Black women’s trust in policing has worsened in the last year due in part to the murders of George Floyd and Sarah Everard, the Met chief said today.

Speaking at the Police and Crime Committee in London, Met commissioner Cressida Dick said “we have a hill to climb” regarding distrust in the police among Black women and other marginalised communities.

She was shown figures from earlier this year which revealed trust in policing is six percent lower in Black women than white women, with 71% of Black women having confidence in the police, compared to 77% of white women.

“It has actually increased rather than decreased in the past year, partly because of the death of George Floyd and other associated issues and we have a hill to climb there which I’m absolutely determined that we do,” she said.

The murder of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man killed by American police officers last year, sparked worldwide protests against police brutality and racism, including in various locations across the UK.

The kidnapping, rape murder of Sarah Everard by serving Met officer, Wayne Couzens, has also exacerbated distrust in police among women. The Met commissioner described Ms Everard’s today murder as a “particularly horrific and shocking to everybody in the country, and of course, that includes my colleagues in the Met who feel utterly betrayed by what happened.”

Worldwide protests, including in the UK, ensued following the murder of George Floyd by police officers.

Ms Dick said: “Some of the issues that some women of colour and Black women may face will be potentially different and there are reasons that may cause them to feel even less certain about contacting the police.”

Worries about cultural restraints, harsher actions by officers towards male perpetrators and, in some cases, questioning of immigration status are among reasons described by the Met commissioner as to why Black women and women of colour may be less likely to trust and contact the police.

She said the Met is working on community outreach, particularly in Black communities, in order to understand and tackle reasons for police distrust.

“It’s about engagement, it’s about communication and it’s also about actions,” Ms Dick said.

The Met’s assistant commissioner, Louisa Rolfe, said the Met are being advised by various charities in their work on this issue.

Ms Rolfe said the Met “must acknowledge and seek to address the additional barriers that Black and migrant women, in particular, may have in coming forward.”