Fedster + 1,307 Posted October 19, 2018 Share Posted October 19, 2018 Staff association is calling for change in the law to help make police more representative of communities. Sgt Tola Munro. Photo: Peter Anderson Photography Date - 19th October 2018 By - Ian Weinfass - Police Oracle The time has come to use positive discrimination in the police service, the National Black Police Association says. The need to improve community relations and representation within law enforcement is so strong that measures such as targeted recruitment and promotion of black and other ethnic minority officers should begin, according to the staff association. Delegates voted in favour of calling for the measure – which requires a change in UK law at Westminster – at its annual conference. President of the NBPA Sgt Tola Munro said: “There have been some outstanding achievements in recruiting by a selection of forces including Bedfordshire, the Met, Greater Manchester Police, West Midlands and Gwent Police. However there remain issues with other forces including the nearly third that have no black female officers. “[At the conference] I thought that we might get two-thirds in favour. I was wrong - a stunning 80 per cent were in favour. “Therefore I have promised to take this forward to the Home Secretary […]. My basis will be the Public Sector Equality Duty imposed by the Equality Act 2010, which includes a requirement for police forces to advance equality of opportunity between persons who share a relevant protected characteristic and persons who do not share it.” No police force in the UK has a proportion of black or Asian officers matching their local population’s make-up, despite the issue being highlighted for years. A further statement from the association adds that “after much soul-searching, reflection and debate” it believes “targeted recruitment and promotion of BME [black and minority ethnic] officers and staff“ should be allowed because “positive action strategies alone will never meet the shortfall in officers and staff who can connect with and provide legitimacy to BME communities”. Sgt Munro told Police Oracle that an example of its use could be when two equally qualified candidates are going for a promotion and there would be a presumption the BME candidate would get the post. The call follows the official launch of the National Police Chiefs' Council’s new diversity strategy this week – which includes a toolkit for increasing representation but does not advocate positive discrimination. Sgt Munro, who helped with discussions around that diversity strategy, said the new call from his association is not a sign of dissatisfaction with the NPCC plan but more a reflection of his members’ calls for swift action on representation in the service. Issues such as the disproportionality of the ethnicity of those stopped and searched, and increases in race hate crimes have also sparked the move, he added. Former Met Police Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe has been among the most high profile supporters of such a change in the law. He called on the government to let him emulate Northern Ireland’s 50:50 quota for recruitment from Catholic and Protestant communities, saying the UK’s biggest force should recruit a maximum of one white officer per ethnic minority officer it hired. The Home Office rejected his plea, and has since maintained that positive discrimination is not needed. It has been approached for comment on the latest call but had not responded before this article went live. View On Police Oracle Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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