Armed patrols in Leicester: join the debate about policing in our city, now and in the future

Posted by ap507 at Mar 16, 2017 10:26 AM |
Leicestershire Police Chief Constable Simon Cole will speak about policing in the local community at a public event on 23 March 2017

Issued by University of Leicester Press Office on 16 March 2017

Leicestershire police chief Simon Cole is to talk at a public event about the force’s recent deployment of armed patrols in crowded places and whether this is a sign of things to come for people in Leicester.

The University of Leicester's Unit for Diversity, Inclusion and Community Engagement (DICE), The Race Equality Centre and CivicLeicester are inviting the public to attend the free event at The Race Equality Centre on 23 March 2017.

Mr Cole will be speaking about the deployment of visibly armed police patrols which took place in Leicester over the Christmas period. He will consider what the deployment meant, why the police think the exercise was necessary, what it achieved, how it was received and whether or not the exercise is a sign of things to come. 

He will be accompanied by Inspector Suk Verma, a former firearms Sergeant.  Their presentations will be followed by a question and answer session with the audience. 

Professor Surinder Sharma, co-Director of DICE and Chair of The Race Equality Centre said: “It is important to any community - particularly in a multicultural city like Leicester - that we understand why such an exercise was introduced last December. The key thing here was - and still is - communication and engagement with the public. This in turn is to ensure that such exercises do not present risk in term of local policies of equality, diversity, community cohesion, citizenship and the protection of the public and human rights.

“This event provides a great opportunity for police and general public engagement in Leicester. In the post-9/11, post-7/7 climate and given recent political changes such as Brexit and the proposed travel ban to the United States, we hope this event will help strengthen existing relationships and improve trust between our local communities and the police.”

Associate Professor John Williams, co-director of DICE, said: “Policing is always a contentious issue in complex societies, so it is important that senior officers are in contact with and accountable to local communities, especially when the latter perceive and experience what feels like a policy change that might have wider implications for policing the Leicester public.

“This is an important opportunity for local people to join in the debate about how to police Leicester - for today and in the future.”

The event has been organised by The Race Equality Centre (TREC); the University of Leicester's Unit for Diversity, Inclusion and Community Engagement (DICE); and the community media channel, CivicLeicester.

Event co-organiser Ambrose Musiyiwa, of CivicLeicester, said: "The deployment of armed police over the Christmas season received a mixed response. Some people welcomed it while others were distressed and alarmed by the presence of visibly armed officers in public places in Leicester. 

"The presentations represent an opportunity for people who have an interest in the relationship between communities and the police to find out more about the deployment, the reason behind it and whether or not it achieved what it set out to achieve.”

The event which takes place in the Conference Room, third floor at the Race Equality Centre, Phoenix Yard, 5-9 Upper Brown Street, Leicester LE1 5TE at 6.30pm on 23 March 2017 is free and open to all.

For bookings, please contact Anamaria Garcia at

For more information about the event visit:


Notes for editors: 

Ambrose Musiyiwa is available on

About The Race Equality Centre (TREC)

The Race Equality Centre in Leicester and Leicestershire (TREC) is a voluntary organisation that was established under the name of the Leicester Racial Equality Council in 1991. It exists to challenge discrimination as defined by the Equality Act 2010 and further strengthened by the Human Rights Act 1998.


CivicLeicester is a community media channel that uses video and photography to document and highlight conversations taking place in and around Leicester.

You can find out more about CivicLeicester by visiting their Youtube account at


The Unit for DICE, in the School of Media, Communication at University of Leicester, serves as an instrument to promote diversity, inclusion and community engagement within the University of Leicester, and on a local and national level.

To find out more about DICE go to:


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