Just 24 police officers from black minority ethnic groups in Gloucestershire
MORE action needs to be taken to see black and minority ethnic police officers rise through the ranks, says a Gloucestershire policeman.
Superintendent Rob Priddy has backed calls to improve diversity in the police force and especially at senior ranks.
Just 24 officers in Gloucestershire, out of a force of 1,200, are from black and minority ethnic (BME) groups. That equates to less than 0.02 per cent of officers.
Census figures show 4.6 per cent of the county population are BME communities.
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Supt Priddy agreed with claims BME officers face a 'glass ceiling'.
"I saw a report that the police service is now thinking of employing BME people from other countries which I find a little frustrating given the high calibre of BME officers that we have. What the police service should be doing is looking inward because there are some really high-calibre BME officers that could be developed to move into the officer ranks.
"We can't get away from the issues of why some members of the BME communities tend to stay away from the police. Senior managers have got to do something to encourage the BME community," he told BBC Radio Gloucestershire.
A spokesman for Gloucestershire Constabulary said they were aware more needed to be done. He said: "Due to the lack of external recruitment in the last few years because of budget constraints, the number of black and ethnic minority officers has not increased. However, we have been in discussion with our support associations to put measures in place to promote inclusion."