Today sees the publication of Government’s Race Disparity Audit, which has collected data from across government departments to create a picture about how ethnicity affects people’s everyday lives. Data from the Audit has been published on the website, Ethnicity Facts & Figures, containing thousands of statistics covering more than 130 topics, including health, education, employment and the criminal justice system. On policing, the Audit has explored comparative rates of arrest and use of Stop and Search, confidence in policing amongst different communities, and the numbers of people from different backgrounds pursuing careers in policing, amongst other topics.
In response, APCC Lead on Equality, Diversity and Human Rights, David Munro PCC said:
“I welcome the publication today of the Race Disparity Audit on the Ethnicity Facts and Figures website. All people living, working and visiting England and Wales must be treated fairly, no matter what their ethnicity or background. To realise this vision for society, we must ensure that policing and other public services operate in a way that is open, fair, and deserving of the trust of all our communities.
“Although the Audit represents a step in the right direction, I know that there are still disparities in the way that some BME people are treated within policing and the criminal justice system and it is important that these are addressed.
“The Audit has found that ethnic minorities are under-represented at senior levels across the public sector; a key priority of mine as the EDHR national lead is to improve BAME representation in the police workforce, particularly at senior levels, and I look forward to working alongside PCC colleagues and other partners to drive improvements in this area. Indeed, efforts are already underway nationwide to improve diversity in the workforce: a scheme launched in Suffolk recently for example, funded by the Police Transformation Fund, will assess how recruitment practices and training opportunities can be used as tools to improve workforce diversity.
“The news that the Ministry of Justice will be taking forward a number of the recommendations made by the Lammy Review, including ensuring that the Criminal Justice System publishes all datasets held on ethnicity by default, is also extremely positive. I additionally welcome the light which the Audit has shone on the use of Stop and Search powers. As I outlined back in August, whilst these powers function as a powerful tool to help keep our communities safe, study after study has revealed that young black males are far more likely to be subject to these powers than the general population. I am confident that the figures provided by the Audit on this issue will help guide our Forces to using these powers with ever-greater professionalism and scrutiny.”
Meanwhile, Deputy Lead of the EDHR Portfolio, Hardyal Dhindsa, PCC for Derbyshire, said:
“We welcome the light that this Audit shines on the work that still needs to be done to increase diversity in the public sector workforce, including the police. I am currently working alongside PCC David Munro, to explore what positive steps PCCs can make to promote good practice on diversity; we look forward to holding a workshop for PCCs and CCs in the New Year where these issues can be explored. As Deputy EDHR Lead, I believe that it is vitally important that our Forces are truly representative of the communities they serve to protect.”