I always think that Stephen Lawrence Day on 22nd April propels the NBCPA into a new financial year and is a reminder of why the NBCPA matters. Stephen’s tragic death marked a watershed in cultural life and race relations in the UK. Since 1993, thanks to the tireless efforts of Stephen’s parents, Baroness Doreen Lawrence and Neville Lawrence, wide-ranging changes have been made to policing and the criminal justice system.
Stephen Lawrence Day is a reminder that we should do all we can to inspire young people to realise their potential and live their best lives. We should all be involved in creating the kind of community they want to live in, where they have a strong voice, in a fairer and more inclusive society. We will be hosting a discussion about Stephen Lawrence and his legacy at a later date.
For the NBCPA, April 2020 to March 2021 was a great financial year. The whole world has been turned upside down and inside out since the outbreak of COVID-19. The basic activities that we took for granted, such as going to the pub or having a haircut, are now moments to look forward to and savour.
I am proud that the CPS has been resilient and agile through these challenging times thanks to compassionate leadership and colleagues’ dedication to the service we deliver. Along with our success has also come profound sadness. So many people have been affected forever by the tragedy of the pandemic.
On 25th May 2020, the death of George Floyd brought racism across the world into full focus. The combination of his death and the pandemic exposed the racial inequalities in UK health outcomes, education, and social justice.
In the CPS, our Director of Public Prosecutions Max Hill QC and Chief Executive Rebecca Lawrence reminded staff that the CPS as an organisation is anti-racist. A plethora of activity followed this by HR, CPS Areas and staff to reinforce this message and engage with distressed Black and minority ethnic (BAME) staff.
In July 2020, the NBCPA submitted a report called ‘The CPS Journey to tackle racism, where do we go from here?’ to the CPS Governance Board. The report was a collation of best practice suggestions from the findings of our 2019 conference ‘The Journey’, which focused on racial disparity in the criminal justice system and the present-day lived experience of BAME staff. The report included 46 recommendations that were aligned to current CPS business priorities and outcomes. Max and Rebecca accepted the report in its entirety – which was unprecedented. They pledged their commitment to ensuring that the recommendations will be incorporated into the CPS strategy and delivery plan for 2021-25.
The NBCPA has achieved so much in the 2020/21 reporting year. We delivered over 100 events and activities and engaged with approximately over 2000 people. A personal highlight was the 57 CPS staff award nominations that we submitted to evidence and celebrate the excellent work, support and effort of our members and CPS colleagues from across the organisation.
I would like to thank our executive committee members and colleagues who have come to the end of their official terms for their service and delivery during 2020-21, namely;
- Jinny Sehra, Deputy Chair
- Conrad Gayle, Secretary
- Ayaz Kishtwari, Treasurer
- Hiten Chohan, Deputy Treasurer
- Vittorio Tonacci, Events Officer
- Mala Drepaul, Deputy Training and Development Officer
- Parhit Kalia, Training and Development Officer
What we have achieved during the 2020/21 reporting year has been astounding. We are the proof of the untapped talent in the CPS. Grade, position, and rank can never supersede the talent and enthusiasm of my NBCPA executive committee members and volunteers.
We have a new NBCPA executive committee, and I would like to welcome our new colleagues:
- Conrad Gayle, new Deputy Chair
- Rizwan Amin, new Secretary of the NBCPA
- Clara Sibanda, new Deputy Communications Officer
- Nathan Miebai, new Deputy Training and Development Officer
- Rita Halkhory, new Events Officer
- Grace Moronfolu MBE, Chair
- Inderpal Kaur Singh, Deputy Events Officer
- Kofo Baptist, Communications Officer
We have a lot to do in the new financial year. Our new executive committee members are determined to support the CPS in delivering the recommendations in our report ‘The CPS Journey to tackle racism, where do we go from here?’. We are confident this will help ensure that the CPS leads from the front regarding inclusion and excellence in service delivery. We will do this through our valued and dedicated NBCPA members and CPS colleagues.