How diverse are the police?

Published 21 July 2016

Today (21 July), we have published the latest diversity profiles for police forces in England and Wales so that communities can see how representative their police work force is in comparison to the local population in terms of gender and black and other ethnic minority (BME) representation.

Last year for the first time, published diversity profiles for all forces to enable the public to hold local forces to account, and chief constables to identify areas for improvement. The latest profiles (available on this site) have been published today (21 July) and give breakdowns by gender and ethnicity, compared against the local population, allowing you to see how well your local force reflects the community it serves.

In addition to police officer diversity data, today we have also published information on the diversity of other police workers with information on police community support officers, police staff and special constables.

Recruitment is not the only way in which forces can improve equality and diversity. Retention and progression also play a crucial role, particularly in enabling officers and staff to move into more senior and more specialised ranks and roles. So we will also publish charts on that show the proportion of women and BME officers by a rank breakdown in each force drawn from the Annual Data Returns.

Changing the culture of policing

Increasing diversity in police forces goes right to the heart of the historic principle of policing by consent. To encourage people with fresh talent and the right skills into policing innovative schemes such as Direct Entry, Fast Track and Police Now are making the police workforce more diverse than ever before.

These schemes are changing the culture of policing by opening it to people from different backgrounds, improving the diversity of the police, helping forces to be more representative of the communities they serve.

Diverse police forces to meet modern crime challenges

One of the key benefits of creating more diverse police forces is the range of talents and skills both men and women from a range of backgrounds can bring to policing. Having a diverse workforce of police officers adept at tackling not only traditional crimes, but many of the other emerging crime types will help police forces meet both today’s and future challenges. More than ever, diversity is an important part of operational effectiveness.

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