Number of black or ethnic minority police officers on rise in Norfolk
PUBLISHED: 12:45 23 August 2018 | UPDATED: 12:45 23 August 2018
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Norfolk Constabulary employs no senior black or ethnic minority officers, but the number employed by the force is rising, new figures reveal.
Home Office data shows that in March this year, there were no BME police officers employed by the force, who were of the rank of chief inspector or higher. The highest ranking BME officer was an inspector.
In total Norfolk Constabulary employs the equivalent of 30 full time BME officers – 24 men and six women.
They make up 1.9pc of the total number of police officers.
BME people make up 3.5pc of Norfolk’s total population, which is slightly more than the proportion of BME officers.
The Lammy Review, an investigation by MP David Lammy into the treatment of BME people in the criminal justice system, found that black and ethnic minority people often do not like engaging with the police as they do not feel represented.
The review says that increasing the visibility of BME people within policing is fundamental to ensuring justice.
Deputy Chief Constable Nick Dean said: “Police forces should be representative of the communities they serve.
“Nationally, the police service is working to address BME numbers and in Norfolk we’re working hard to make sure people from ethnic minority backgrounds are aware of career opportunities within the force.
“Recent Home Office figures show the numbers of BME officers currently employed by the force is increasing and we are confident through our recruitment processes that this will continue. In addition, the force was recognised as having excellent relationships with local communities in the recent HMICFRS legitimacy inspection, which rated the force as ‘good’.
“It is important to note however that diversity is not just about BME. We must also remember policing itself is not just delivered by police officers but also police staff, Special Constabulary officers and volunteers.
“For example, our current senior female police staff figures tell a very different story of diversity with a high number in managerial and supervisory roles.”
POLICE FEDERATION RESPONSE
Ian Saunders, chairman of the Police Federation’s equality sub-committee said: “We recognise that although there may be barriers to recruiting officers from BME backgrounds, more must be done to attract but also retain these officers and to positively support their career development to ensure that we are a service that is truly reflective of our communities.”
The Home Office data shows that out of Norfolk Constabulary’s full time BME officers, 14 are mixed race. There are seven black officers and five are Asian. The rest are from other ethnic minorities.
The figures show that the force is getting more representative. There were 15pc more BME officers employed this year, compared with March 2017.
In total Suffolk Constabulary employs the equivalent of 35 full time BME officers – 25 men and 10 women.
They make up 3.1pc of the total number of police officers.
BME people make up 4.8pc of Suffolk’s total population, which is slightly more than the proportion of BME officers.