Northamptonshire police launch BME recruitment drive
Categories: Latest News
Monday August 10 2015
Northampton Chronicle and Echo reports on a campaign launched by Northamptonshire Police to recruit more officers from ethnic minority groups.
The most recent figures show that in Northamptonshire, 8% of residents describe themselves as being from black or minority ethnic (BME) backgrounds but less than half that number, under 4% of police officers in Northamptonshire are from BME backgrounds.
In a bid to increase the amount of officers from ethnic minorities, a campaign to recruit more police officers from a variety of different backgrounds, as well as more female officers, has been initiated.
Inspector Inam Khan, the force’s equality and diversity officer, said: “Northamptonshire Police has a strong commitment to equality and in order to effectively tackle crime and bring offenders to justice, we must reflect, understand and enjoy the trust and confidence of all the communities we serve. So we want to recruit the best talent from the widest pool of people possible, that’s why we’re actively encouraging people from all backgrounds to consider applying to become a police officer in Northamptonshire.”
The news follows on from a report last month that highlighted the lack of black police officers in a number of police forces in the UK, despite targets set after the Macpherson report in 1999, over a decade ago, to address the problem of “institutional racism”. The target set by the Home Office at the time was for the total number of BME recruits within the police force to rise to 7%. However, by 2009, that figure had only reached 4.4%, rising to only 5.6% by 2014. Furthermore, figures released by the Metropolitan Police revealed a 5% decrease in the number of BME new recruits between the year 2012-2013 and 2013-2014.
The figures published last month showed that the police forces of Cheshire, Durham, North Yorkshire and Dyfed-Powys revealed low numbers of officers from Asian, Chinese and mixed race backgrounds, with no black African or black Caribbean officers within their work force of 5,692 officers. Furthermore, over the last year, the number of police officers from BME backgroundswithin these four forces decreased.
The lack of BME officers within the police forces in England and Wales was also highlighted by the Home Office in March 2013 when it was revealed that only 5% of police officers in England and Wales were from an ethnic minority background, which was unchanged from 2012. The Metropolitan Police had the largest proportion of Minority Ethnic officers with 10.5% making up the total number of officers in London, which is still an inadequate representation of the capital’s population where 55% belong to an ethnic minority. Furthermore, the majority of the 1,436 officers from black backgrounds in England and Wales were employed by just two police forces; the Metropolitan Police in London and West Midlands Police.
It was also revealed that Minority Ethnic officers in the 43 police forces of England and Wales were also underrepresented at senior ranks, accounting for 3.8% of officers at the rank of chief inspector or above. However, despite the percentage of BME police officers having risen from 3.9% to 4.8% between 2007 and 2011, they still remain unrepresentative of the proportion of BME in the population at large, 14.1%.
The findings went on to reinforce allegations that British police forces suffer from institutionalised racism. Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, admitted that there was “some justification” to the claims.
Improving BME recruitment to the UK’s police force is one of the pledges committed to by the Conservatives in their 2015 election manifesto.