Norfolk police chief vows to improve diversity
PUBLISHED: 13:23 09 August 2020 | UPDATED: 14:10 09 August 2020
Norfolk’s top police officer has said the force is committed to improving diversity and inclusion for all to provide a service “all our communities can have trust and confidence in”.
Chief constable Simon Bailey said the last few months had “brought into focus” the inequalities many face.
Earlier this year, 46-year-old George Floyd died in Mineaoplis, in America, after a police officer knelt on his neck for several minutes while he was handcuffed and lying face down.
The incident has prompted a wave of protests in cities across the United States - and the rest of the world - and a surge in support for the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement.
Protests have been held in Norfolk, including in Norwich and King’s Lynn, as figures from Norfolk Police’s Freedom of Information disclosure logs showed the number of recorded racial hate crime victims increased from 49 in January this year to 61 up to the end of May.
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Chief constable Simon Bailey said: “Recent events have understandably brought into focus the inequalities and injustices that so many people experience throughout society. Our objective as a police force is to ensure our officers and staff continue to follow the British model of policing by consent. Norfolk Police is committed to continuously improving how all our communities experience our service.
“Our Coercive Powers’ Board, which is chaired by our assistant chief constable and includes members independent of the police, regularly reviews and examines the use of all our main powers to ensure our response in appropriate and proportionate.”
He said his team became police officers to support and serve all their communities, and that he wanted the workforce to be “representative and inclusive to all”.
“Nationally the police service is working to address BAME numbers and in Norfolk we working hard to improve the diversity of our police force,” he said.
“We have recently seen an encouraging increase in the number of Black Asian and Minority Ethnic applicants for police officer posts and we continue to welcome applicants from all diverse backgrounds.
“In our commitment to improving diversity and inclusion for all, we are able to provide a service all our communities can have trust and confidence in.”
He said the force had adopted the Home Office and College of Policing Best Use of Stop Search Scheme to use the powers “effectively and appropriately”.
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