We’re committed, as a Constabulary, to representing the communities we serve. While we have a number of Asian, mixed race and non-British officers and staff working for the Force, we recognise that, despite our current efforts, more needs to be done particularly to recruit officers of African-Caribbean descent.
We have put in place a number of initiatives to support the recruitment of minority ethnic officers and staff, including using 'positive action'.
This means putting measures in place to support applicants, including workshops for potential applicants, extensive feedback to unsuccessful applicants aimed at supporting future applications, and targeted recruitment campaigns in those areas of the county with the highest numbers of minority ethnic communities.
Our Insight programme will specifically target previous unsuccessful candidates from minority communities, offering support and guidance around our recruitment process and encouraging those interested in the Force to reapply.
We also have in place mentoring and 'buddy' schemes, matching minority officers, with more senior colleagues to support their professional development and to improve promotion chances. And we are actively encouraging black and ethnic minority officers from other forces to transfer to Cheshire.
This is particularly important given the challenges of recruiting minority staff in Cheshire, which has a very small ethnic minority population (approximately 3 per cent of the population). We are actively recruiting in neighbouring areas, including Merseyside and Greater Manchester, in our efforts to bring more minority candidates into the police family.
It is important to clarify that the data the Home Office holds on the ethnicity of officers and staff is not precise, as much of their personal information is 'self-declared', that is, officers are asked to complete forms indicating their ethnicity and some choose not to. This does not, however, take away from the work that needs to be done by our Force and others to improve representation.