controversial study into racial disparities in the UK has claimed the “overwhelming majority” of police are “decent and good people”.
It states that the success of much of the ethnic minority population in education and, to a lesser extent, the economy “should be regarded as a model for other white-majority countries”.
Its recommendations include calls for increased scrutiny of body-worn police footage of stop and searches, more detailed, publicly available data, more local recruitment within police forces, and improved training to help officers interact with the communities they serve.
The report defends the use of stop and search despite figures showing black people are disproportionately affected by the policy.
The report goes on to defend police officers, calling them “good people” but adding that there is a “minority” who bring “shame and dishonour” to those they represent.
It says: “The Commission states unequivocally that the overwhelming majority of those who serve in police force areas across the country are decent and good people.
“These are men and women who work to protect and serve us all. They put themselves in harm’s way so that we don’t have to.
“They are the ones we turn to, sometimes when we are in the most desperate circumstances. It is an injustice in itself to portray them, or the wider police service as a whole, as anything less.”
It adds: “But as with all workforces cross-sector, and all corners of society as a whole, there are a minority of individuals who bring shame and dishonour to themselves and to those they represent.”
The report describes stop and search as a “critical tool” for policing but that the statistics behind the activity have “remained unexplained for too long”.
The report came under fierce criticism within hours of publication. One line in the study was accused of putting a “positive spin on slavery and empire” when explaining its recommendation on teaching history in schools.