HL Deb 02 July 1982 vol 432 cc541-2WA
Lord Avebury

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What action they have taken as a result of the Home Office study published in November 1981, Racial Attacks.

Lord Elton

Progress has been made as follows on the lines of action set out by my right honourable friend the Home Secretary in the foreword to the report of the Racial Attacks study.

(i) Collection at local level by the police and others of information about the incidence of racial attacks.

A number of police forces have already instituted new and improved systems for recording and dealing with racial attacks. Officials are to meet representatives of the Association of Chief Police Officers soon to assess progress. An early meeting is planned with representatives of local authority associations to discuss the responsibilities of local authorities in this field.

(ii) Arrangements in all areas with significant ethnic minority population for liaison between the police, local authorities and ethnic minority communities.

Guidance on the procedure and best practice for local consultation arrangements was issued on 16th June.

(iii)Training of police officers which will enable them to develop a greater sensitivity towards the phenomenon of racial attacks.

(iv) (a)Assistance to the police by ethnic minority groups with "on the job "training for police officers.

The Police Training Council has established a working party to review community and race relations training for the police service as a whole. The working party's terms of reference require it to take account of the Home Secretary's foreword to the report of the Racial Attacks study. The working party will report in the autumn.

(iv) (b)Provision of opportunities for the police to explain matters of evidence and law to community leaders.

(v) The immediate and direct reporting to the police of all racial attacks.

These questions have been discussed with the Commission for Racial Equality. At the commission's invitation officials have discussed with representatives of ethnic minority communities and community relations councils the need for quick and comprehensive reporting and for the police to be given the opportunity to explain their procedures. These questions will also be discussed with the Association of Chief Police Officers.

(vi) Ways of combating racialist activity and propaganda among young people, particularly in schools and at football grounds.

Discussions about racialist activity and propaganda in schools are continuing and we are in contact with the Football League and the police about the extent of racialist activity at football grounds.