Cheshire Police has a diversity problem. It is one of the UKs least ethnically diverse police forces with just 13 non-white officers out of 1,974 (who declared)
Yet, at the same time, Cheshire is one of the least ethnically diverse counties in England. The non-white population is estimated to be around 3%.
What should we do?
Clearly, there is a problem and it needs to be addressed with the next intake of recruits. However, if just one quarter of the 2016/17 intake of officers is non-white, then the non-white population in Cheshire will be fully represented.
However, do you feel your local police represent you if your native tongue is Polish, French, Spanish, Hindi or another language?
I want to ensure that new police recruits with a second language are incentivised to join Cheshire police.
A second language gives officers the cultural depth and awareness to realise that there is more than one way to resolve a conflict or to solve a problem.
What we seek in our Cheshire Police is increasing cultural diversity as well as ethnic diversity and gender balance. Much has been achieved on gender balance and we can solve the diversity issue with a focused recruitment strategy in 2016/17. However, to achieve long term cultural diversity and sensitivity and we can only achieve this by focusing on second language skills.