The outgoing Police and Crime Commissioner for Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland, Lord Willy Bach, along with the Chief Constable, Simon Cole, have reaffirmed their commitment to ensuring that not less than one in four new recruits* to the force is drawn from the BAME community.
Speaking at Police HQ on Stephen Lawrence Day 22 April, Lord Bach said:
“The brutal murder of Stephen Lawrence back in 1993 and its aftermath triggered a pivotal moment in the history of British policing. Lord McPherson’s conclusion provided a jarring wakeup call; for police chiefs and for leaders in all public bodies.
Tremendous progress has been made in the 28 years since Steven’s murder, but there is still work to be done. That said, first-hand experience of policing in Leicestershire during my term has been positive. However, I do believe that the social phenomenon described as “white privilege” continues to influence the culture in all public bodies, including the police.
The makeup of the police force in Leicestershire still falls short of reflecting our diverse population. This must change; at every level of responsibility, including executive level, where they can genuinely shape the evolution of workplace cultures where diversity and difference are recognised and encouraged.
Last year we saw an upsurge of anger against racist policing, following the killing of George Floyd by a police officer in the US. It was time to look in the mirror, to reflect and to act. In October, with the full support of the Chief Constable and his team, I made the following statement to representatives of the black community in Leicester:
“I want a step change to a situation where not less than one in four of the new recruits to the police family comes from the Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic community, with a particular focus on those with black Africans and Afro-Caribbean heritage.”
I am pleased to report Simon Cole and his team have now agreed on a strategy and timelines that will deliver this ambition over the next three years. The Leicestershire force now has the policies and management arrangements in place to make my pledge happen.
I look forward to the day when a cohort of new recruits walking through the gates at police HQ here in Enderby is truly reflective of the wonderfully diverse community that it has been my privilege to serve over the last five years.”
The Chief Constable, Simon Cole said: “Today Leicestershire Police has more officers and staff from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities than ever before, thanks to years of listening and working with communities to tackle concerns and encourage recruitment. We recognise fully there is more to do. Our commitment to ensure that not less than one in four new joiners to the force is from BAME communities is a significant and positive step in helping Leicestershire Police accelerate and re-prioritise its efforts to be one of the most diverse police forces in the country.”
* First announced in October 2020
The attached plan on a page, provides further background to the ‘Not less than one on four’ pledge - can be downloaded HERE
Posted on Thursday 22nd April 2021