provided by: Netpol
published: 9 July 2014
On 20 July 2014, a team of trained independent ‘Community Monitors’ will observe and record the actions of police officers and security staff during Birmingham’s popular Simmer Down Reggae Festival.
Community scrutiny of the policing operation in and around Handsworth Park, where the festival takes place, is part of Netpol’s Community Monitoring Project and has been organised alongside 4WardEver UK, Birmingham Ethnic Minorities Association (BEMA) and BirminghamStrong Justice 4 All.
Funding from the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation enables Netpol to pilot three community monitoring projects in different parts of the country, which aim to increase police accountability over the treatment of individuals and the process of local decision-making in each of the three pilot areas.
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On 17th June 2012 people gathered at peaceful vigils to remember fathers that have died in police, prison, mental health and immigration detention.
These nationally organised peaceful vigils took place simultaneously in Manchester, Birmingham, Central London, Brixton, Tottenham, Sheffield, Slough, High Wycombe and a number of other locations.
Tippa Naphtali, Mikey Powell Campaign & 4WardEver UK said; “These deaths have just got to stop. Family campaigners need to take matters into our hands in a manner more unprecedented than anything seen before. We need to adopt intelligent and collaborative responses, working with a single vision and strategy”.
Protesters have called for the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) to be replaced with a new body. They demonstrated outside the central London office of the IPCC, which they claim is dominated by former police officers.
Campaign4Justice claims the IPCC failed to deal with their cases fairly. The IPCC accepted “the current system does not always meet the needs of the public”.
Commons Home Affairs Committee chairman Keith Vaz has said they will hold an inquiry into the powers and future of the police watchdog.
Campaigners say a third of the watchdog’s investigators are former police officers, and therefore “there is no independence in it”.