POLICING authorities in the UK have decided to act on the lopsided nature of their recruitment with a plan to establish some sort of equilibrium leading to the West Midlands Police announcing that it will recruit 1,000 ethnic minority officers.
With the British public expressing outrage at the racist murder of George Floyd in the US and the brutality black people face, the police authorities have been forced to act. David Jamieson, the West Midlands Police & Crime commissioner, said that 1,000 Black, Asian and Multi Ethnic (Bame) officers will be recruited over the next three years.
He said that the force, currently 11% Bame, should reflect an area where about 30% of people are of Bame background. Recent anti-racism demonstrations have highlighted issues between police in the UK and the Bame community, embarrassing several police authorities across the country.
Following a recent Black Lives Matter gathering outside the West Midlands Police headquarters, in Birmingham, the force is being investigated over the high number of complaints made relating to the use of excessive force. Asked, why, after nearly six years in office, he chose now to announce his commitment Mr Jamieson said that cuts to police had prohibited large-scale recruitment.
He added that now, with funding for 20,000 police officers received from the Home Office, he now has the resources to recruit new staff. Karen Geddes, the chair of the West Midlands Police’s Black and Asian Federation, said that it was a positive statement.
She added: “It’s a good number to put out there and I’d like to see how. How is he going to do that, what is the strategy behind it, what are we going to do if we don’t achieve it?”
Being the second biggest force in England, West Midlands Police has 6,495 officers. These 1,000 new Bame officers will be among 2,750 recruits which means that after replacements for those leaving the force have been accounted for, there will be 1,200 new police officers.