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Claudia Webbe is the Chairperson of New Scotland Yard's Operation Trident Independent Advisory Group after pioneering its development in the mid-1990s. She is related to the singer and musician Simon Webbe.
Advisor to Ken Livingstone
Webbe's experiences include being an Adviser to the Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, (a member of his election campaign team in 2000 and 2004) arguably thus, the first Black female full-time paid advisor to a directly elected Mayor in the UK.
Webbe spoke out in Livingstone's defence when on 24 February 2006, the Standards Board for England as decided by the Adjudication Panel for England, Livingstone was found guilty of bringing his office into disrepute and suspended from office for four weeks. The trigger for the action was when in February 2005, Livingstone likened an Evening Standard reporter to a Nazi concentration camp guard
Webbe said of Livingstone at the time as published in the Guardian Newspaper:
"... I have known Ken for almost 20 years, having worked with him in numerous anti-racist organisations and campaigns including the Anti-Racist Alliance, the National Assembly Against Racism and whilst I was Director of Westminster Race Equality Council, he took up cases that I referred onto him for support. His history of work in the anti-racist movement is unquestionable...."
Livingstone launched an appeal and the decision was later quashed by the High Court when on 5 October, Justice Collins overturned the suspension, stating that the Adjudicating Panel had misdirected itself
Response to comments by Tony Blair
When Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Tony Blair in a speech whilst delivering the Callaghan Memorial Lecture in Cardiff said on the issue of gun crime that we can't pretend "..that it is not young Black kids doing it..." stating that the Black community "... need to be mobilised in denunciation of this gang culture that is killing innocent young black kids...", This left Webbe gutted stating that the Prime Minister's comments were a "Kick in the teeth" to the historical work that the Black community had been doing which has received huge support from around the world.
Webbe stated "The prime minister is wrong to assert or imply that this is a "black problem": the bullet does not discriminate in its effect, and neither is the black community responsible for the manufacture, supply and importation of dangerous weapons."
Operation Trident chair
Following the targeted murders of children in South London in February 2007, Webbe was called on to give a number of media responses and was featured throughout on BBC, BBC News 24, BBC Radio 4, BBC Breakfast, ITV, Channel 4 News and Sky News amongst others.
Operation Trident emerged in 1997 as a result of sustained community pressure to tackle the disproportionate effects of gun crime on black communities, where both the victim and the assailant are black. The Metropolitan Police Service now has a dedicated Operation Trident police response unit.
Webbe is the Chairperson of the media campaigns group of Operation Trident and thus has been responsible for leading and pioneering its hard-hitting campaigns. This has contributed to transforming the way the police present themselves in building trust and confidence with the community. The latest campaign engaged the UK garage/grime/hip hop group Roll Deep, whose latest track "Badman" is a message to those who might have been seduced by the glamour of guns. The track's video, directed by Jake Nava (famous for Beyoncé's "Crazy in Love" video), highlights the grim reality of gun crime, its effects on people's lives and the endless cycle of violence it promotes.
Webbe combines her work on tackling crime with being a board director of Crimestoppers. Webbe was also a pioneer of the London Multi-Agency Race Hate Crime Forum an anti-racist campaigning organisation, whose current secretariat paradoxically is the Metropolitan Police Authority.
Webbe was the chief executive/Director of Westminster Race Equality Council and the chief executive/Director of Bath and North East Somerset Race Equality Council.
Webbe is also an adviser to the "Kick Racism Out of Football" campaign, which is chaired by Lord Herman Ouseley, the former Chairperson of the Commission for Racial Equality. She is a board director of "Homes for Islington" one of the largest housing management organisations in the UK. However, Homes for Islington is one of the government's controversial Arms Length Management Organisation (ALMO). Many campaigners regard ALMOs as one step towards the privatisation of council housing.
Webbe is a public speaker and regarded as a long time campaigner of human rights, equality and justice and has been the Chairperson of Path (West Midlands) for the past 11 years tackling significant generational unemployment and barriers to career advancement amongst Britain's minority ethnic communities.
After a long and hard fought campaign in Bunhill she was elected as a councillor to Islington London Borough Council, for the Labour Party which now under Catherine West, of Tollington controls the council. She was elected with 2177 votes, which made her the highest placed candidate, alongside her running mates Troy Gallagher, of EC1 New Deal and Robert Khan, of The Law Society.
- Homes for Islington
- BBC London features Carnival
- Guardian Newspaper Profile
- Socialist Worker article
- Issue 1987 of Socialist Worker
- Operation Black Vote article
- Operation Trident Website stop the guns
- Television appearances
- Operation Trident Advertising Campaigns since 2001
- BBC Radio 4 Woman's Hour – "Girls and gun crime"
- Blair blames spate of murders on Black culture
- Election Results