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Three in a hundred police officers from BAME backgrounds

PUBLISHED: 16:22 06 August 2020 | UPDATED: 17:51 06 August 2020

Suffolk police said it wanted its workforce to reflect diversity in the county  Picture: ARCHANT

Suffolk police said it wanted its workforce to reflect diversity in the county Picture: ARCHANT

Archant

Police insist they are working hard to improve diversity after it was revealed just 3.1% of more than 1,250 Suffolk officers were from black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds.

Suffolk Constabulary said last year’s government drive to recruit 20,000 officers nationwide had provided a once-in-a-generation opportunity to make a difference.

It called a recent uplift in diverse recruitment and rising number of new applicants from diverse backgrounds encouraging, but that there was work still to do.

A headcount of 1,279 officers at the end of June, showed the workforce comprised 1,216 white officers, seven Asian officers, 27 of mixed heritage and two of any other ethnicity, while 24 preferred not to declare their ethnicity.

Just 3.1% of those who declared their ethnicity were from BAME backgrounds, compared to 7.4% of officers across England and Wales.

The percentage has increased from 2.58% as of March 31, 2017.

In the last year, the force drafted a new strategy and put in place an action plan to ensure continued focus on all aspects of diversity.

It took part in a peer review of processes and hired a diversity co-ordinator and positive action advisor to drive improvement.

The force said recent Black Lives Matter demonstrations had brought into sharp focus the inequalities and injustices faced by many, and that it wanted its workforce to reflect diversity in the county to ensure the trust and confidence of communities.

It said the service was working hard to make sure people from ethnic minority backgrounds are aware of career opportunities, adding: “The planned uplift in police officer numbers announced in 2019 offers policing a once-in-a-generation opportunity to dramatically improve the diversity of its police officer workforce and we are working hard to achieve this.

“We recognise strength in difference and have a range of initiatives, training and engagement programmes which will help us to keep striving for better representation and diversity in our organisation, and improvements in how all our communities experience our service.

“We work with critical friends and partners who help us to learn, and although we are seeing an uplift in our diverse recruitment figures, we know this is not a quick fix and we have a lot of work to do. We are also encouraged by an increasing number of new applicants from diverse backgrounds.”

The constabulary is currently recruiting officers. To find out more, visit suffolk.police.uk/join-us/police-officers. For other opportunities, including police staff, special constabulary and volunteers, go to suffolk.police.uk/join-us.


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