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NPCC reacts to super-complaint on response to ethnic minority sex abuse victims at risk of honour-based abuse

16 Dec 2022

The National Police Chiefs’ Council has responded to the findings of a super-complaint into how police deal with cases involving ethnic minority victims of sexual abuse, including those at risk of honour-based abuse.

The super-complaint, launched by Tees Valley Inclusion Project, focused on ethnic minority victims of sexual abuse. The investigation comments on the police response to these victims and the issues around the quality of ethnicity data across policing.

The investigation team spoke with four ethnic minority victims of sexual abuse who had experienced honour-based abuse. They conducted research in five forces. They also spoke with professionals from relevant specialist support agencies as well as police officers and police leaders. 

Our National Lead for Honour-Based Abuse and the Programme Director for the Police Race Action Plan have both responded to the relevant findings in the super-complaint.

National Police Chiefs’ Council Lead for Honour-Based Abuse, Deputy Chief Constable Ivan Balhatchet, said:

 “Thank you to the brave victims who have spoken out in this super-complaint – we will ensure your experiences lead to real change. 

  “While no compelling evidence was found to show ethnic minority victims of sexual abuse receive a poor service, it was found that some forces lack understanding of the risks and complexities of honour-based abuse.  

“This is simply not good enough. We must listen to these concerns and solve the problems urgently, fully and for the long term. 

“We accept the recommendations made and police chiefs will now work closely with the College of Policing and partners to implement them.   It is crucial our people are equipped to give all victims the support and protection they deserve. This will be done through effective cultural awareness training and other resources.  

“Operation Soteria Bluestone is developing a new nation-wide approach for rape and sexual offences based on pioneering, deep research by academics embedded in police forces, which aims to transform the response to rape.  This new model should address many of the problems found in this super-complaint."  

DCC Tyron Joyce, Police Race Action Plan Programme Director, said:  

“To become a truly inclusive, anti-racist police service, we must record data in a way that lets us properly assess the impact of policing on the Black and ethnic minority communities we serve. This super-complaint is further evidence that we are not doing it effectively. 

“The Police Race Action Plan (PRAP) is working with partners to agree national data standards for recording of ethnicity and race that will address concerns identified in this super-complaint. This is an example of our determination for tangible difference, which we can be measured against.  

“These standards will be subject to public consultation and forces may be ordered to include them in their annual figures.”