Favour ethnic minority recruits, Labour tells police
Yvette Cooper promises to help forces increase diversity, even if it means law has to be changed
Sunday 08 September 2013
Police chiefs will be encouraged to favour ethnic minority candidates when it comes to recruitment and promotion, even if the law has to be changed to allow them to do so, under new proposals from Labour.
The pledge to help forces increase the diversity of their officers will be made by the shadow Home Secretary, Yvette Cooper, in a speech at the Police Superintendents' Association of England & Wales (PSAEW) annual conference tomorrow.
Although the proportion of black or ethnic minority officers has almost doubled in the past decade, from 2.9 per cent to 5 per cent, progress has slowed between 2011 and 2013, according to the latest government figures.
"Modern effective policing relies on the police being able to work with and be trusted by local communities," Ms Cooper said.
Many senior officers see increasing diversity as crucial to operational requirements, but just 5 per cent of police officers in England and Wales are from an ethnic minority background – compared with around 14 per cent of the population.
"At a more senior level the representation is even lower, with just 48 BAME [black, Asian, minority ethnic] superintendents and chief superintendents – the equivalent of one per force," Ms Cooper added.
"Every force should be required to have policies in place for BAME recruitment, retention and promotion. It is time to look at changes to the legal framework to make sure police forces are able to pursue effective targeted recruitment programmes to meet operational needs and reflect their communities."
Sir Peter Fahy, chief constable of Greater Manchester Police, who earlier this year called for more to be done to encourage positive discrimination, said: "It is not about targets or political correctness but having a workforce that can deal with the problems of crime and the vulnerability a more diverse society presents."
Charles Crichlow, president of the National Black Police Association, welcomed the proposals. "Affirmative action is where you select from equally qualified candidates so there's no question that you are selecting individuals who are not qualified," he said.
Alan Rickman admits editing 'terrible' script with friends in Pizza Hut behind backs of writers on Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
Rarest Beanie Baby of them all could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
Professional big game hunter Ian Gibson crushed to death by elephant during hunt
Driving while dehydrated can be just as dangerous as drink driving, study suggests
Ben Affleck asked TV chiefs to hide slave-owning ancestry, new hacked Sony emails published by Wikileaks claim
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
Food banks: One million Britons will soon be using them, according to Trussell Trust
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
- 1 Rarest Beanie Baby of them all could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
- 3 Driving while dehydrated can be just as dangerous as drink driving, study suggests
- 4 Farmer told to tear down mock-Tudor castle after hiding construction behind hay bales
- 5 One Direction: Louis Tomlinson launching his own record label, has already 'signed two acts'