26 March 2021 — Institute of Race Relations
The race and class implications of the Police, Crime Sentencing and Courts Bill are massive and go beyond the right to protest, says Liz Fekete in the lead piece this week on IRR News. Back in the 1980s, Liz Fekete was a researcher on the IRR’s seminal report Policing Against Black People and she draws on her long involvement supporting campaigns for police accountability not only to dissect the Bill, but to bring historical context. She draws parallels between Margaret Thatcher’s use of the police to enforce industrial relations policies in the 1980s and the present government’s apparent need to keep a lid on disaffection and revolt in austerity-impoverished, multicultural inner-city neighbourhoods. But historical parallels reveal differences too, particularly in terms of police accountability. The imposition, under the Bill, of a new public duty on statutory agencies to support a multi-agency approach to preventing and tackling serious violence, further blurs the borders of policing as such agencies will inevitably become more integrated into policing.