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Jamieson puts BME police recruitment pledge in black and white

Jamieson puts BME police recruitment pledge in black and white

🕔28.Jul 2016

West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson has pledged to make the force “look like the region it serves” by recruiting more police officers from BME communities.

Mr Jamieson told a meeting of the Black and Asian Police Association he was “absolutely determined” to create a police force “that truly represents the people it serves”.

The Commissioner faces a huge task, however, given that the force he oversees is overwhelmingly white British in its make-up.

The force consists of 7,249 police officers, and 6,418 are white. That means 90 per cent of the West Midlands police force is white, against a 70 per cent white population across the region.

There are 368 Asian or Asian British police officers, which is 5.2 per cent of the force against 18 per cent for the West Midlands population.

BME police officers are yet to break through to the upper echelons of the force. The chief constable, deputy chief constable and four assistant chief constables are all white as are 14 of the 15 chief superintendents.

Mr Jamieson said:

I am absolutely determined to create a police force in the West Midlands that truly represents the people it serves.

The West Midlands is one of the most diverse areas in the country and I have been elected to serve all of those communities and ensure people of all ages, ethnicities and faiths are represented in public life.

West Midlands Police will take positive action to make sure our BME communities are represented in our new recruits – while ensuring everyone who is appointed meets the highest standards.

And this is not only about recruitment – but also retention and promotion. I am determined to see the progression of BME officers to the very top of our force.

I was elected in a vote where more than 500,000 people had their say and I am determined to carry out my promise in my manifesto of achieving opportunities for everyone.

West Midlands Police is in the process of recruiting 450 new officers, who will be in place by April. Mr Jamieson has also pledged to recruit an extra 1,000 on top of that.

Assistant PCC Ashley Bertie, who is from an African-Caribbean background, pointed out that a third of staff in Mr Jamieson’s office are from BME backgrounds.

He added:

We want to ensure the force better reflects the varied communities it serves – not as an end in itself but as a way to make policing more effective.

The PCC has long advocated that West Midlands Police should look like the people it serves. In the PCC office, 30 per cent of staff are from BME backgrounds – however we will not rest on our laurels and there is more work to be done.

Attempts to encourage more BME men and women to apply to become police officers appear to be working. The recruitment of 250 constables, split into four cohorts, has seen BME applications running at between 10 and 25 per cent.

Mr Jamieson has extended the consultation period for his Police and Crime Plan – giving people extra time to have their say on their policing priorities.

Almost 1,000 people have already taken part but the Commissioner wants as many as possible to have the opportunity to comment.
The original July 18 deadline has now been extended to August 29.

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