Sussex Police has been praised for its work promoting racial equality, becoming only the second police force to be given Trailblazer status by Race Equality Matters.

This is a not-for-profit organisation that aims to be the catalyst to move organisations and individuals from just talking, to taking meaningful action that has a real impact on tackling race inequality.

The recognition from a panel of independent race equality experts follows Sussex’s Assistant Chief Officer Anita Grant, the programme lead for Sussex Police and Surrey Police’s Race Action Plan, being awarded  ‘Asian Woman of Achievement 2023’ in the category of Public Service, earlier in the year.

ACO Grant said: “The actions we have taken over the last year have set a strong foundation to build an anti-racist police service on; including introducing racial equality as a specific requirement in performance reviews and promotion processes to make sure that the right people are leading the organisation, from front line supervisors to chief officers. Also introducing Race Equality Advocates into every department to identify and promote what changes can be made to best serve our racially diverse communities in everything we do.

“We recognise the harm that racist and race-blind policing has caused to communities and how much further we still have to go, but I believe that Sussex Police can become a leading example of what anti-racism in policing should be.”

Jed Murray, who is the Chair of the Race Advisory Group, a panel of independent community members who provide insights to direct policies and processes within Sussex Police, said: “In the last year, the Race Advisory Group has supported and challenged Sussex Police in the development and implementation of the local race action plan. We have been central in developing the core ideas of what anti-racism in policing means and have provided insights that shaped audits and actions across the organisation.

“The Trailblazer status shows a real commitment by Sussex police to acknowledge past failings and make the required structural and cultural changes meaningful with the help of all communities to shape the future of policing in Sussex. We are always looking for new advisors and I urge anyone in Sussex who has an interest in social justice and inclusion to get involved in this vitally important work. Your lived experience could be a valuable contribution and catalyst for change.”

You can request further information on how to become a member of an advisory group from diversity@sussex.police.uk