Black and Asian people are now more likely to become police officers in Nottinghamshire – but the force remains less diverse than the area it serves.
It comes after a top-level plan to make Notts Police more reflective of the local community was analysed at a meeting of the police and crime panel at County Hall on Monday, September 23.
The plan says being more diverse will give the force an ‘operational policing edge’, by building trust and confidence in different communities, and ‘gaining a wider understanding of our communities’ needs’
Currently, 5.8 percent of the police’s workforce is from a black and minority ethnic (BME) background.
The most recent data for the city and county, dating back to 2011, shows 11.2 of people identified as BME.
This figure is likely to be higher now, the meeting heard.
The force says it is also under-representative of applicants who identify as lesbian gay or bisexual (LGBT).
The measures which have been put in place to increase the representation of BME populations were discussed at the meeting.
Paddy Tipping, the police and crime commissioner for the county, discussed a report which outlined the details.
He told the meeting: “This has been really important for me, and the force is committed to it.
“The police ought to reflect the wider community and it doesn’t.
“The report before you is quite stark. The population of Nottinghamshire that comes from a BME background is just over 11 percent, and when I came to post (in 2012) just four percent of officers were from that background.
“So we’ve been working really quite hard with the community.
“The degree graduate entry scheme that we’re running, the report says 20 percent of entrants are from a BME background, when you look at the number of special constables, nearly 40 percent are from a BME background, and that’s a step ladder into the force.
“It is increasing, so we’ve been able to move from four percent of officers to 5.8 percent.
“The other thing we need to think about, and we are thinking about it, is making sure that the communities are represented right up the organisation, right up the hierarchy.
“I find it staggering that there’s only ever been one black chief constable in the United Kingdom, and we need to make sure there are people from the black and Asian communities who are sergeants, inspectors, chief inspectors and superintendents.
“This is very much a work in process, it’s quite a difficult area, because we’re talking about the population of Nottinghamshire being 11.2 percent from a BME background, that percentage is increasing all the time, so we’re running hard to keep up.”
Mr Tipping also discussed the force’s work to recruit members of new communities which have settled in Nottingham.
He said: “We’ve worked quite hard with the Somalian community, and with the Ethiopian community, and with people from what used to be called Eastern Europe.
“We do have officers from those backgrounds, and that’s a particularly important in the Worksop area, where there’s a big and dynamic Polish community.”
Kit Sandeman , Local Democracy Reporting Service