Home Secretary Theresa May is determined to make England’s police forces more diverse – and she singled out the North Yorkshire force for criticism.
In a speech to the National Black Policing Association’s conference, Mrs May revealed that the Home Office had published “diversity profiles” for England and Wales forces.
The data, which shows a breakdown of all officers by gender and ethnic background, will show “local communities up and down the country just how representative their police force is – or isn’t”.
Then Mrs May said:
This is simply not good enough. I hope these figures will provide chief constables with the information they need to identify areas for improvement and for the public and PCCs to hold them to account.
One of the forces without a single black officer is North Yorkshire (the others are Cheshire, Durham and Dyfed-Powys – although the latter two dispute the claim).
Here are the figures just published…
Police officer ethnicity
|Ethnicity||Police officers||Police officer %||Force area population %||Force area population|
|Asian or Asian British||5||0.4%||1.2%||9,914|
|Black or Black British||0||0.0%||0.5%||3,618|
|Chinese or other ethnic group||0||0.0%||0.8%||6,233|
The gender divide meanwhile, shows that only 29.5% of North Yorkshire police officers are women – despite women being 50.9% of the population.
Deputy Chief Constable Tim Madgwick pointed out that North Yorkshire police “do have a number of Asian and mixed race officers from PC to Superintendent rank, and black, Asian, Chinese and mixed race police staff”.
He said the county faced particular difficulties:
Efforts to attract more officers from minority groups had included recruitment programmes in neighbouring counties.
And the force had developed an action plan with the College of Policing to address the recruitment of ethnic minority officers in the future.
Dep ch con Madgwick said this work “has not been helped by the reduction in starting salary for new police officers”. And he added:
‘Home Secretary right’
Meanwhile, Julia Mulligan, Police and Crime Commissioner for North Yorkshire, said: “The Home Secretary is right that diversity in the police is a very serious issue, and one we have been aware of and trying to address for some time in North Yorkshire.”
The small number of black people in the county made this “particularly difficult” she said, adding: