Lack of black and minority ethnic police officers 'not good enough', says May


Theresa May has attacked the lack of black and minority ethnic officers and women in the police service, describing the situation at some forces as "simply not good enough".

In a speech to members of the National Black Police Association, the Home Secretary said "diversity profiles" covering England and Wales showed no force has a black and minority ethnic representation reflecting its local population, while four forces have no black officers.

Mrs May told the association's annual conference in Birmingham: "These profiles, based on self-declared ethnicity data supplied by forces, give breakdowns for officers in each force by gender and ethnicity, compared against the local population.

"They reveal a hard truth - that no force has BME representation that matches its local demographic.

"Incredibly, this data shows that four 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 two chief officers who self-identify as BME in England and Wales, and 11 forces with no BME officers above even the rank of chief inspector."

The Home Secretary said she hoped the figures would act as a "wake-up call" to forces and provide chief constables with the information they need to identify areas for improvement, as well as for elected police and crime commissioners to hold them to account.

The four forces with no black officers as at March 31, according to self-declared data submitted to the Home Office, have been identified as Cheshire, Durham, North Yorkshire and Dyfed-Powys.