Nottinghamshire Police has a disproportionately low number of black and ethnic minority officers (BME) and only one senior BME officer.
New Home Office figures show that in March this year, the equivalent of 89 full time BME officers were employed by the force – 66 men and 23 women. The highest rank attained was superintendent.
They make up 4.6 per cent of the total number of police officers.
BME people make up 11.2 per cent of Nottinghamshire’s total population, which is significantly more than the proportion of BME officers.
The Lammy Review, an investigation by MP David Lammy into the treatment of BME people in the criminal justice system, found that black and ethnic minority people often do not like engaging with the police as they do not feel represented.
The review says that increasing the visibility of BME people within policing is fundamental to ensuring justice
Ian Saunders, chairman of the Police Federation’s equality sub-committee said: “It is vital that the police service reflects the communities we serve to ensure we are able to police as effectively as possible.
“The Police Federation supports efforts to increase diversity, raise awareness and promote best practice about the issue.
“And we recognise that although there may be barriers to recruiting officers from BME backgrounds, more must be done to attract but also retain these officers and to positively support their career development to ensure that we are a service that is truly reflective of our communities.”
Across England and Wales, police forces have a disproportionate number of white officers.
More diverse parts of the country have fewer BME officers compared with the size of the black and ethnic minority population.
The Home Office data shows that out of Nottinghamshire Police’s full time BME officers, 28 are mixed race. There are 16 black officers and 42 are Asian. The rest are from other ethnic minorities.
The figures show that the force is getting more representative.
There were seven per cent more BME officers employed this year, compared with March 2017.
A Nottinghamshire Police spokesperson said: “Nottinghamshire Police is committed to increasing the representation of BAME officers and staff across the force, and there has been an ongoing programme of work that has been carried out with local communities to support this ambition.
“The force’s ‘Operation Voice’, links serving officers and members of staff as role models to work with minority communities. We are also continuing to run positive action workshops to explain selection process and competencies and support networking opportunities for recruitment at universities, colleges and career fairs.
“We work closely with the Black Police Association to discuss real-life experiences with local people and promote messaging around positive action and we continue to see an increase in the numbers of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic recruits joining the force, as well as recent promotions resulting in more senior officers, including Inspectors, Chief Inspector and Superintendent, from BAME backgrounds being successful.
“Recent recruitment campaigns have seen more applicants from BAME communities and the trajectory is continuing to head in the right direction, with 7.8% of 128 new recruits joining the force being from BAME communities. Our police constable degree apprenticeship opportunity also received around 35% of applicants from a BME background.
“We are encouraged by the increase in our BAME representation but there is still some way to go before we are where we want to be. As a force we remain committed to increasing representation and are looking at different ways to make a difference in this area, such as introducing schools liaison officers into local establishments, to give young people a positive experience of policing from a young age, who may then consider policing as a career in the future.”