British police ‘still institutionally racist’, claims senior officer
British policing is “still institutionally racist”, a senior officer admitted as he launched a new drive to boost the number of ethnically diverse recruits.
Chief Constable Gareth Wilson, the national lead for diversity, equality and inclusion, told the Independent the service has “come on leaps and bounds” but there was more to do.
The landmark McPherson Report found UK police were institutionally racist and culpable for failings in the investigation into the racially-motivated murder of black teenager Stephen Lawrence.
Mr Wilson said: “If you use the definition in the Macpherson Report you could argue policing is institutionally racist but we’ve moved on significantly since then.
“We deal with the consequences of disparity in other public services.
“Policing has undergone a huge step change but that doesn’t mean we haven’t got a great deal of work to do.
“It is a fantastic occupation and the people I work with every day are really inclusive.
“They really do want a diverse workforce and I’d say go beyond the perception, come and see the reality.”
The National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) said that although numbers of female police officers and those from black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) origin were at a record high, they are still underrepresented compared to the communities they serve.
Policing minister Nick Hurd: “It is an uncomfortable truth that our police forces do not fully represent the communities they serve.
“By recruiting from right across society, the police will ensure they retain the public’s confidence and attract the brightest and best talent that this country has to offer.”