ARE and EQUAL respond to the Inclusive Britain report
In March 2021, The Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities published its first report into racial and ethnic disparities in the UK and made a total of 24 recommendations to the government.
Campaigners, policy-makers, religious and community groups, and members of the civil and voluntary sector were quick to identify and counter the Report's conclusions that, while there might be overt acts of racism in the UK, institutional racism did not exist.
Following the Report's publication, the government published "Inclusive Britain: Government response to the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities" in March 2022. It listed 71 measures described as being part of the government’s new 'Inclusive Britain action plan'.
EQUAL, as part of Action for Race Equality, has now responded to Inclusive Britain, and called for further action to be taken to address racial disparity across the UK particularly in the criminal justice sector where serious concern remains.
Read our full response to Inclusive Britain here.
We welcome Inclusive Britain's emphasis on addressing racial inequality across civil society, yet are disappointed that the government still refuses to acknowledge the systematic nature of racism. There are significant consequences for not addressing the root causes of racism.
Importantly, the report also does not address the intersectional nature of inequality. Race and class are separated without acknowledging the effect of one on the other, and vice versa.
There is little mention of women, young people, disabled people, migrants, and LGBT+ people. Without acknowledgement of intersectionality, those who are most disregarded in our society will continue to be left out of responses and the correct support.
Whilst the report includes some welcome actions regarding criminal justice, we remain concerned about the overly punitive approach of government to those who encounter the racially unequal criminal justice system.
In our foreword, we write:
"As the country and the government transition to a new Prime Minister and new leadership, it is even more crucial that this window of opportunity to create a stronger, fairer Britain is not lost. Race equality should permeate government policy at all levels."
Thus, EQUAL is calling for a number of actions including:
Home Office to clarify the scope of the new framework on how use of police powers are scrutinised at a local level in consultation with Muslim and ethnic minority communities, and what statutory power it has over forces that do not comply.
Home Office and local police services to invest in local scrutiny panels so they are truly independent, consistent across the country, and effective.
Government to outline the cost of the Serious Violence Duty and how the Home Office will mitigate the impact laid out in the Equalities Impact Assessment.
Stop and search data to be broken down by race, gender, age, sexuality, and disability, the data around complaints to be reported, and this data to be linked to connected issues such as strip searches and use of force.
Stop and search data to also be linked to connected issues such as strip searches and use of force to build a better picture.
For more details, read all our key recommendations, with actions, in our full response.
For queries, please contact Payal Bhavsar, Communications and Engagement Officer