How diverse are the police?

Published 22 October 2015

From today, police forces in England and Wales are publishing diversity profiles so their communities can see how representative their police force is of the local population. At the same time, four forces have signed up to a scheme designed to bring about greater inclusion of diverse officers.

The Home Secretary announced the publication of all police forces’ diversity profiles, which will enable chief constables to identify areas for improvement. The profiles give breakdowns by age, gender and ethnicity, compared against the local population, and allows you to see how well or not your local force reflects the community it serves.

To encourage forces to do more to support diversity, the Home Secretary today launched the College of Policing’s Reverse Mentoring scheme, and revealed that four forces (Gloucestershire, Staffordshire, Sussex and West Midlands) have already signed up to take part.

The scheme will see senior police officers learn about the experiences of junior staff of all backgrounds. This will help senior policing leaders gain greater insight into the experience of officers and staff from under-represented groups, including Black or Minority Ethnic officers, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender officers, female officers, and officers with disabilities.

Changing the culture of policing

To encourage people with fresh talent and the right skills into policing, the College of Policing developed the Direct Entry and Fast Track programmes.

This year, half of those starting the Direct Entry to superintendent scheme are women, and nearly a sixth are from an ethnic minority background. Meanwhile, of the external candidates starting their Fast Track training this year, 46% are women and 17% are from an ethnic minority background.

The Metropolitan Police has also been successful in attracting applicants from a wide range of backgrounds to its Police Now graduate leadership programme. This year just under half of the applicants to Police Now were women, whilst a fifth were from people from Black or Ethnic Minority backgrounds.

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.

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