By Aimee Hender
West Yorkshire Police are using the 2010 Equality Act, Positive Action, to increase the representation of the force within the region.
West Yorkshire Police are hoping a focus on representation, will improve colleague retention and progression across all colleagues, whilst also focusing on underrepresented groups in this institution.
Underrepresented groups are classed by the police as people from a Black Asian Minority Ethnic (BAME) background.
In an aim to be more representative of the location, West Yorkshire Police are holding specific recruitment events and careers fairs across the county.
By working with the local community groups, West Yorkshire Police are hoping that this will break down the barrier between the police force and people from all backgrounds.
The Police say that “positive action is about creating a level playing field to enable people to compete on equal terms. It describes a range of measures which aim to eliminate unlawful discrimination and promote equality of opportunity.”
Chief Inspector Tanya Wilkins, Lead on Positive Action for West Yorkshire Police, said “I started as a Positive Action ambassador with the Police 18 years ago. Since then the Black Asian Minority Ethnic representative in the West Yorkshire Police force has increased from a small 5% to 5.9%. In 18 years.
We want our teams to represent the diversity we have here in West Yorkshire.”
According to the College of Policing in 2018, one in every four appointments would need to be from a BAME background if police officers were to be representative of the population by 2024.
The National Black Police Association (NBPA) has called on the Prime Minister to legalise the use of Positive Discrimination to address the inconsistent treatment of Black Asian Minority Ethnicity communities in their under-representation in policing.
In August 2019, Boris Johnson, the Prime Minister of the UK, announced that 20,000 additional officers would be recruited. According to the NBPA, this is a perfect opportunity for the Prime Minister and the Home Secretary to legalise the targeted recruitment and promotion of all officers and staff.
Tola Munro, NBPA chair, said: “A one-off injection of 10,000 BAME officers would send a message to all our communities nationally that the Prime Minister is serious about the legitimacy of UK policing.”
This chart shows 94.1% of the officers in this police force are White, higher than the population.
[Data taken from Police UK: https://www.police.uk/metropolitan/E05000629/performance/diversity/ 16th December 2019]
In the police force, there are many different job roles to suit a variety of individuals. From the uniformed officers roaming the streets, special constables all the way through to police analysts. Police assessors, mechanics, and dog handlers are all quite popular jobs.
Police assessors are officers who would be specifically trained in the interview and shortlisting processes, engaging in a variety of activities, in the form of role plays, mathematics, and literature.
The majority of police assessors, tend to be ex retired police officers. The police are aware of the implications this can bring in terms of new recruitment when trying to make a change to diversity in the workplace. This is a big topic that the police are addressing, hoping by having a diverse group of police assessors that this could help the overall representation of all ethnicities in the force.
Currently, the BAME population is 18.2% across West Yorkshire, with only 5.9% representing the force. West Yorkshire police hope to increase this percentage, opening up many different opportunities for people from all backgrounds.
This recruitment drive is something the Police are taking very seriously, offering one to one support, throughout the application and interview stages. If successful they would ensure mentors and buddies are there every step of the way to make all feel included.
The pledge of 20,000 new police officers across the UK, paired with the Police’s support for underrepresented groups, means there’s no better time to apply.
For more information on current vacancies in the police force, please visit https://www.joiningthepolice.co.uk/#who-is-recruiting.