Oluwale trial anniversary prompts call to communities

19th October 2021

West Yorkshire’s Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime, Alison Lowe is calling on diverse communities and under-represented groups to help positively shape the future of policing.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the trial of two Leeds Police Officers, accused of the manslaughter of British Nigerian David Oluwale.

The events leading to his drowning in the River Aire in 1969 resulted in the first successful prosecution of British police officers for involvement in the death of a black person.

As part of Black History Month, Alison Lowe has featured on a BBC Radio 4 broadcast entitled Remember Oluwale.

Alison hopes his legacy will continue to drive change in policing and highlight the wider societal inequalities, which still exist:

“The case of David Oluwale reminds us all, how important it is to challenge the disparities that people still experience across our communities.

“Although West Yorkshire Police is now recognised as an inclusive employer, with a specific Equality Diversity and Inclusion strategy and the most diverse Command Team in the country, there is still much more we can all do.

“This is why I am specifically calling on diverse communities and under-represented groups across West Yorkshire to have their say in accelerating this change.

“The Mayor’s Police and Crime Plan is currently out for consultation until 19th November. You can give your views on important policing and crime matters by visiting our dedicated website.

“It also includes a survey which is available in a number of different languages.

“I want the foundations of the West Yorkshire Police and Crime Plan to be truly representative of those we serve and to cater for their needs.

“This is why I would encourage everyone to take the time to #TellTracy about what matters to them and what we can do to make a difference.”

The Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police, John Robins QPM, said:

“West Yorkshire Police is an entirely different organisation to the one which so badly failed David Oluwale 50 years ago. Working closely with all of our communities and key partners is now vital to the work we do as a Force.

“I would encourage as many people as possible to add their voice in the survey and to help shape the future direction of policing and crime matters in West Yorkshire.”