A report into issues of racial justice in Sutton has recommended a number of key areas racial injustice can be improved in the borough.

Greater support for community groups fighting racism and the hosting of more community events were among some of the key recommendations made by the report, which was conceived following the worldwide protests last year under the banner of the Black Lives Matter movement after the death of George Floyd at the hands of police in Minnesota, USA.

Community Action Sutton and The Fairness Commission who worked on the report launched its findings at the end of October to mark the finish of Black History Month.

Simon Breeze, Chief Executive of Community Action Sutton said following the report's publication on Friday (October 29):

"Our past attempts to reduce the ethnic inequalities in Britain have failed because we have only focused on addressing the symptoms and not the causes. With that principle in mind the report sets out clear data on inequalities, but most importantly it focuses on people's experiences and the lived reality of racism. The Fairness Commission sought to find solutions to racism and inequality by looking at the role of different types of power, such as institutional, social, or personal power. By doing this the recommendations give everyone, regardless of their role or position in life a way to be part of the change."

Recommendations published in the executive summary of the report were broken down into four subsections that examined societal power, social power, collective power and individual power.

Among them were calls to "Produce and disseminate ‘rights-based guidance’ targeted at BAME community members", with the examples given suggesting advice and guidance on "rights around stop and search, housing, educational concerns, etc." could be targeted.

Meanwhile, the report found that in Sutton, which has a lower percentage of Black, Asian, Latino and other ethnic minorities than London as a whole, there was a "Lack of community understanding of 'difference'", and recommended the hosting of community events to promote greater community cohesion.

Speaking after the findings were published, Sutton Council Leader Ruth Dombey said:

"The report marks a real turning point for racial justice work in the borough. I was fortunate enough to attend the launch last Friday and heard a range of challenging and impactful stories from members of our local community who contributed to the report and animation. The Council along with other key partners will continue to support the work of the Fairness Commission and Community Action Sutton, as well as using the insight from this work to inform wider change to improve racial justice work locally. This serves as a great example of the power of collaborative working to address the ugly challenge of racism and inequality."

Other community voices who contributed to the report were also published, reproduced here:

"This is about ACTION and not just words and reports. It is NOW not just for the future. It’s for Sutton as a WHOLE represented community.”

"The animation video - made it very easy to understand and it had a big impact!”

"Young People were great and the creative writing was amazing."

Click here to read the full report or here for more information.