5 Diversity |
99. The essential bond between the British police
and the public is founded on the fundamental understanding that
the police are the public, yet the complexion of the police service
is increasingly different from the public it serves.
100. Professor Simon Holdaway believed that interest
in diversity had captured chief officers' attention for a period,
but subsequently declined.
Former Chief Superintendent Dal Babu OBE told us that in the 30
years he had been in the police service, the proportion of Black
and minority ethic (BME) officers had increased only from 1% to
5%, whereas the number of BME officers who are promoted to the
chief ranks had gone downfrom nine BME officers at ACPO
rank at the time of the Stephen Lawrence investigation, to just
four at the moment.
He told us that discrimination within the force was still present,
but more subtle than in the recent past and noted that "specialist
departments are virtually all white".
The police service should
collect and publish data detailing diversity within each department
to be completed by April 2014. Without this data, it is impossible
to assess whether the whole service is properly representative.
101. According to our witnesses, police sometimes
have a limited understanding of issues relating to ethnicity and
sexual orientation, which has an impact on public trust in police
from different backgrounds bring a new cultural intelligence to
the force, which makes a real business and public safety case
102. The Higher Education Forum for Learning
and Development in Policing reported that initial interest in
policing among minorities and people with registered disabilities
was stifled at the recruitment stage.
Tom Winsor highlighted research on the barriers to joining
the police faced by people from Black and minority ethnic communities,
which found that in those communities the status of policing had
been eroded and did not match other professions such as law and
103. Mike Fuller, former Chief Constable of Kent
Police, added that recruitment was only part of the challenge
and the retention and development staff needed to be a sustained
2010-11, 165 BME officers joined the police, but 204 left. According
to Professor Simon Holdaway "you open the front door and
for half of them the back door is open and they go".
104. Several witnesses suggested that the route
to senior ranks was guarded by ACPO, which did not have a good
record of diversity or innovation, describing how it was necessary
to fit "the ACPO mould".
Rank Representation by Gender
England and Wales - 31 March 2012 (Latest Available)
|Female Officer volume
|% Female Officer Representation
|Male officer Volume
|% Male officer Representation
Rank Representation by Aggregated Ethnic Group
England and Wales - 31 March 2012
|Minority Ethnic Officer Volume
|% Minority Ethnic Officer Representation
105. Forces varied considerably in their successfulness
in promoting diversity. The diversity of each police force by
gender and ethnicity is listed in Annex I of this Report, along
with changes over time. The Metropolitan Police has the highest
proportion of BME officers, at 10%, but as Assistant Commissioner
Cressida Dick noted this is "well off the level for London".
In Dyfed-Powys, North Wales and Humberside, fewer than 1
in 100 officers are from a BME background, though these lower
proportions might reflect more closely the composition of the
communities they serve.
106. Alex Marshall pointed out that improving
diversity was difficult in a time of sparse recruitment, but argued
that increased diversity within the ranks of the cadets and special
constabulary brought its own benefits as well as widening the
potential recruitment pool.
Mr Marshall said that three development courses had been
established for BME officers at the beginning of their career
and the College had a role in bringing that talent through quickly
into senior positions.
107. Tom Winsor argued that the only criterion
for entry into and advancement within the police service should
be merit and that "positive discrimination is not appropriate".
He proposed that forces should address the issue by actively seeking
candidates among minority communities.
Dal Babu suggested that recognising the desirability of language
skillssuch as a knowledge of Urdu or Punjabicould
help to build diversity in areas where those language skills would
also help the police to relate to communities.
Assistant Commissioner Cressida Dick acknowledged that her counter-terrorism
command would be "more effective if we had more people with
certain language skills and were more reflective of London's communities".
108. Police forces must recognise
that diversity is more than simply ticking a political correctness
box: true representation is critical for public acceptance and
knowledge of communities and different mindsets can bring real
operational advantages as well as everyday improvements in relations
with the public. It is shameful that not a single chief constable
is Black or Asian.
109. Diversity has for too long
been given lip service but not action in the police service. It
is very disappointing that ten years after the McPherson report
and 20 years after the death of Stephen Lawrence so little progress
has been made. Indeed, in some respects the police service has
gone backwards with the BME percentage of ACPO falling from 4%
in 2010 to 2.9% in 2012. The importance of having diversity at
the top is shown by the fact that former Chief Constable Mike
Fuller's force has become significantly less diverse since his
departure to head HMICPS. The Committee is therefore deeply alarmed
by the complete absence of BME officers on the strategic command
course and expects to see a substantial number of officers from
a Black or minority ethnic background on the course next year.
110. Skills-based selection
would fit well with Mr Winsor's emphasis on merit and prove a
useful tool for diversifying the service. The importance of cultural
intelligence and abilities such as language skills should be assessed
by each force and, where appropriate, recognised in recruitment
planning. The Committee welcomes the commitment to increasing
diversity in the Metropolitan Police, articulated by Assistant
Commissioner Simon Byrne, and will be monitoring progress.
111. We are concerned that in
some cases, pre-recruitment qualifications such as the Certificate
of Knowledge, which may be prohibitively expensive for some candidates,
may stifle diversity. Means-tested support should be in place
to ensure that the best candidates are not lost because of financial
112. The detrimental impact
on the effectiveness of a force that does not reflect the communities
it serves, including in counter-terrorism operations, has been
articulated by senior officers including Cressida Dick and Sir
Peter Fahy. The Government should therefore change the law to
allow for positive action in the police force, at least up to
a representative threshold for each area.
113. We note that PCCs are now
responsible for appointing their own Chief Constables and will
not necessarily have regard to the national picture of diversity
when doing so. It is therefore absolutely essential that high
calibre minority officers are able to reach the upper ranks so
they can be chosen. Mentoring schemes such as the one implemented
by Chief Superintendent Dal Babu should be rolled out across the
114. Of course, specific requirements for each
rank may present difficulties for "direct entry" candidates
hoping to join policing from a different career. Direct entry
to the rank of superintendent was proposed by the Winsor Review.
Currently, police officers start as a constable and progress through
each rank in order. This is the single entry point into policing,
which the Government believed "can miss too many people who
might make highly effective senior police officers".
115. As the Police Foundation pointed out, two
years of street-based experience can help an officer in developing
the "craft" of policingthe practical instincts
of officers that can be vital in a crisis. It noted that there
is evidence of "overwhelming support" for single entry
inside the police service and that constables have more confidence
in leaders who have had frontline experience.
Dal Babu told us:
"I was a gold firearms commander where two of
my officers were shot and seriously injured, and I then had to
manage the scene there and then subsequently arrange for the arrest
of the culprits. That is not something you can learn overnight".
He pointed out that communities build trust in officers
over time and value the knowledge that officers have progressed
through the ranks. He believed a "conveyor belt" attitude
was not the best way to improve diversity in senior ranks.
116. On the other hand, policing has become
increasingly specialist and there is a need for technical abilities
in areas such as complex fraud or cyber-crime.
Multi-point entry could assist in increasing the proportion of
female and ethnic minority officers in senior positions. Thirdly,
direct entry may help to bring new ideas into the police from
confident and experienced professionals.
117. Tom Winsor told us that "I wish I had
gone further in relation to the flexibility of a chief officer
to bring someone in from an outside job, perhaps with a lot of
years' experience, at a higher salary than as things are at the
118. As ACPO pointed out, "given the level
of risk managed by the service it is crucial that senior officers
are competent from day one".
The Police Foundation suggested that the College could design
courses to ensure that non-police officers gain relevant on-the-ground
training, skills and experience.
119. There are already opportunities to join
the service in senior roles as police staff members (i.e. not
warranted officers). Non-warranted staff members are represented
at all levels including senior management teams.
Police staff and PCSOs now represent 38% of the police workforce
in England and Wales, with staff represented at almost all management
levels in forces and across all policing functions. The Strategic
Command Course is available to both officers and staff.
120. Assistant Chief Officers are regularly drawn
from successful careers in finance, human resources, IT and more
and bring a great deal of skills and experience into policing.
Vicky Robinson suggested that "Direct entry [...] is reinforcing
this notion that you have to hold a warrant card to be an effective
police leader" and that if more were done to integrate civilian
staff direct entry would not be required.
121. Police staff are an important
entry point for diversity of experience, ethnicity and other characteristics
and play an increasingly important role in policing. We note that
in November 2012 the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act
2011 transferred all of the assets, liabilities and staff formerly
employed by Police Authorities to Police and Crime Commissioners
(PCCs). By April 2014, a second stage of transfers is due to take
place, leaving some "governance" staff with the PCCs
and all "operational" staff with chief constables. Under
this Stage 2 Transfer process, operational staff under the direction
and control of the chief constable pass to the chief constable's
employment. We expect most staff to be transferred to chief constables'
employment and a clear justification for any staff remaining with
PCCs. For clarity and operational effectiveness, it is important
that this process happens smoothly and that the April 2014 deadline
122. For warranted officers,
the culture and "craft" of policing are valuable assets
that can guide officers in a crisis. The trust built between officers
and their superiors on the basis of shared experience is another
valuable commodity. However, we recognise that it is necessary
to have warranted officers with certain skills within the service,
especially for specialist assignments such as cyber crime. The
College should develop a "points-based" direct entry
system, it must identify specific skills requirements at specific
levels in the service and open up direct entry to fill that gap,
rather than simply throw open the door to senior ranks.
86 LSP 34 [Professor Simon Holdaway], paragraph 12 Back
Q 309 [Dal Babu] Back
Q 323 [Dal Babu] Back
LSP 06 [Stonewall] Back
Q 316 [Dal Babu] Back
LSP 08 [Higher Education Forum for Learning and Development in
Policing], paragraph 3.12 Back
LSP 20 [NPIA], section 2.8 Back
Q 320 [Mike Fuller] Back
LSP 34 [Professor Simon Holdaway], paragraph 6; LSP 03 [David
Treadwell]; LSP 35 [A J Wright] Back
Home Affairs Committee, Counter-terrorism, HC 231-i, Q
15 [Cressida Dick], 4 June 2013 Back
Q 212 [Alex Marshall] Back
Q 215 [Alex Marshall] Back
Q 614 [Tom Winsor]; Q 615 [Tom Winsor] Back
Q 328 [Dal Babu] Back
Home Affairs Committee, Counter-terrorism, HC 231-i, Q
17 [Cressida Dick], 4 June 2013 Back
Home Office, Consultation on the Implementation of Direct Entry
in the Police, January 2013 Back
Rowe, M. (2006) 'Following the leader: frontline narratives on
police leadership', Policing: An International Journal of Police
Strategies and Management, Volume29, Number 4. Back
333 [Dal Babu] Back
Q 315 [Dal Babu] Back
LSP 05 [Police Foundation], paragraph 19 Back
05 [Police Foundation], paragraph 20 Back
Q 604 [Tom Winsor] Back
LSP 21 [ACPO] Back
LSP 05 [Police Foundation], paragraph 24 Back
LSP 21 [ACPO] Back
LSP 21 [ACPO] Back
LSP 29 [Vicky Robinson] Back