Better public engagement is increasing trust in local policing in Bristol

Although many ethnic residents in Easton and St Pauls feel that the police are biased, if not totally still racist, and victimise communities in the area, the majority of residents who live and socialise in Easton feel happier not because of the greater police presence, but because of the high visibility policing in the area which has resulted a reduction in crime rate. In addition, the Neighbourhood Partnership structures have made the police to be more accountable to the local residents by regularly attending not only the Neighbourhood Partnership/Forum meetings but relevant local meetings too – including the Stapleton Road Working Group and Somali Forum meetings, many a list – to explain policing strategies, share ideas, and discuss challenges and future plans while answering questions from members of the diverse local communities. However, better Neighbourhood policing, in any given area, relies on the level of community participation and engagement. Therefore, the selection of issues that is top of the list of community concern such as stop and search policies, heavy handedness and victimisation, amongst many, should be taken seriously and addressed appropriately both strategically and on the ground level.