In the Media

Diversity crisis for UK police chiefs|Sandra Laville

PUBLISHED October 28, 2011

Met Police appointments highlight lack of diversity at the top of British police service Two plum jobs in British policing were assigned this week filling the gap at the top of the Metropolitan Police force. Those close to the process say Mark Rowley, chief constable of Surrey and Simon Byrne, deputy chief constable of Greater Manchester Police were outstanding applicants for the Scotland Yard assistant commissioner posts - standing above the field. But the appointment of another two white men to some of the most senior jobs in British policing highlights, once more, the crisis over the lack of diversity at the top of the nation's 43 forces. Of the six who applied for the Met jobs, one was a woman, but there were no black or ethnic minority candidates. That can perhaps be explained when you look at the tiny pool from which they could have been drawn - of the 200 plus chief officers in the country of Association of Chief Police officers' rank only four are black or Asian. Incoming Scotland Yard commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe wants to address this lack of representation at the top of policing with multi point entry to forces from those outside the police - something first raised by Cindy Butts, chair of the Race and Faith inquiry into diversity issues in the Met Police which reported last year. But that is not going to solve the crisis overnight. After a summer of riots David Lammy, MP for Tottenham said the biggest priority for the Met Police was to present the public a face which was representative of them - particularly in inner city areas like Tottenham. This week's appointments show just how far there is to go. Crime Police Sandra Laville © 2011 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds