News story

Diversity profiles published to encourage police forces to become more representative

The Home Office today published a force-by-force overview of the proportion of BME and female officers in each of the 43 England and Wales police forces.

Home Secretary

The data is presented alongside total population statistics, allowing for an easy assessment by the public of how representative their force is in terms of ethnicity and gender.

The diversity profiles show:

  • there is no police force in England and Wales that has a BME representation that matches its local demographic.

  • according to self-declared data submitted by forces to the Home Office, four forces have no Black/Black British officers.

  • there are no BME Chief Constables.

  • female police officers make up 28.2% of all police officers yet are 51% of the total population.

Speaking at the National Black Policing Association in Birmingham this morning, the Home Secretary urged forces to do more to make sure they represent the people they serve.

While the most recent published police workforce data shows that the proportion of BME officers joining the force (8.8%) is higher than the proportion of current BME officers (5.5%), no force, including the Metropolitan Police, is representative of the communities they serve.

With the launch of the BME 2020 Vision, the government will be calling on all public sector organisations to make their workforces racially representative. Improving diversity should be a priority for the police.

Home Secretary, Theresa May, said:

Increasing diversity in our police forces is not an optional extra. It goes right to the heart of this country’s historic principle of policing by consent. We must ensure that the public have trust and confidence in the police, and that the police reflect the communities they serve.

Incredibly, 4 forces do not employ any Black or Black British police officers at all, and female officers make up 28% of all police officers but 51% of the total population.

This comes on top of existing statistics showing that there are only 2 chief officers who self-identify as BME in England and Wales, and eleven forces with no BME officers above even the rank of chief inspector.

This is simply not good enough. I hope these figures will provide chief constables with the information they need to identify areas for improvement and for the public and PCCs to hold them to account.

Home Secretary
Published 22 October 2015