Nearly eight out of 10 standing in police polls are white men
Nearly eight out of 10 of those standing to be police and crime commissioners are white men.
Analysis by The Independent has found that of 192 confirmed candidates for the £100,000-a-year posts next month, just 35 are women. Only 13 are either black or Asian. It is feared that a lack of black and Asian commissioners could lead to further alienation between police and ethnic-minority communities.
The findings deliver a blow to the credibility of the 41 commissioners championed by David Cameron and raise questions about the Government's commitment to equality.
There is already mounting criticism of the calibre of the candidates, who include a number of former MPs, councillors, ex-police officers and members of the far-right, amid warnings that a lack of public interest could see the turnout drop below 20 per cent.
The analysis reveals that the Conservatives are fielding six women and one Asian male candidate, compared to Labour which has 15 women. Only two of Labour's 41 candidates are from ethnic minorities. The Lib Dems are fielding four women – one more than UKIP – and two Asian candidates although the party is only contesting 24 force areas. Meanwhile, of 55 independent candidates 48 are male while eight are black or Asian. The only area where a woman is guaranteed to win is in North Yorkshire where the election is being fought between two female candidates. The Home Office has hailed the commissioners as the biggest democratic reform of the police in decades. They will determine strategy for policing in their areas and hold chief constables to account.
Simon Woolley founder of Operation Black Vote and an Equality and Human Rights Commissioner, said the lack of diversity among the candidates was a matter of "great concern".
"It is symptomatic of politics across the board. There is barely any discussion about representative democracy even more so when it comes to these elections. Mr Woolley said he was "deeply worried" about the absence of black or ethnic minority candidates in areas with high ethnic populations such as West Yorkshire, Greater Manchester, South Yorkshire and Avon.
Issues such as stop and search, racial profiling, prevent and contest anti-terrorism legislation and poor rates of detection for racial and hate crimes are a major source of sensitivity among communities.
PlayStation and Xbox hacked by Lizard Squad
Exclusive: Abusers using spyware apps to monitor partners reaches 'epidemic proportions'
Dublin court rules brain-dead pregnant mother's life support can be switched off
Margaret Thatcher 'expressed fears of Asian rising' at Anglo-Irish summit in 1984
The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public set to see exhibits from police’s grisly crime museum
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
BBC director Danny Cohen: Rising UK antisemitism makes me feel more uncomfortable than ever
Katie Hopkins speaks out on childhood obesity: 'Parents of fat children should be prosecuted for child cruelty'
- 1 The Boy in the Dress, TV review: David Walliams' Boxing Day treat is a celebration of being different
- 2 Exclusive: Abusers using spyware apps to monitor partners reaches 'epidemic proportions'
- 3 Andy Murray takes to Twitter to show off his Christmas jumper
- 4 Katie Hopkins speaks out on childhood obesity: 'Parents of fat children should be prosecuted for child cruelty'
- 5 Top 10 travel destinations for 2015: From Haiti and Alaska to Namibia and Iceland