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Senior roles must reflect diversity, says Superintendents' Association

The Police Superintendents' Association celebrates diversity among its members but admits more needs to done to improve representation at senior ranks
Published - 18/05/2021 By - Chloe Livadeas

Of the PSA’s membership of just over 1,300 superintendents and chief superintendents, 26.7 per cent are female and just 5.3 per cent are from a Black, Asian or minority ethnic background compared with 14 per cent of the UK population. 

7.3 per cent of the entire police workforce are from a BAME background and 31 per cent are women.

The PSA say it is committed to improving diversity and equality across the service through its ‘valuing difference’ drive. In 2018, the association launched a coaching and mentoring programme with the College of Policing designed to support officers from under-represented groups. To date, 22 per cent of beneficiaries are BAME and 61 per cent female.

President Paul Griffiths confirms, “We’re at a critical moment in our Service’s history when it comes to diversity and inclusion.

“For years, this issue has challenged us and we have failed to make the progress that our workforce deserves and that we owe our communities.  Only by showing and celebrating the differences within our ranks, especially at the most senior level, can we become a Service that people from every walk of life and every part of our population can connect with and have trust in.

“We need diverse insight, experiences, skills and professionalism in every part of our workforce, and particularly in senior leadership roles.

The PSA have today released a film entitled ‘Together we’re different, as one we serve’, featuring 12 members of the PSA talking about themselves. 

“By showing just a small shapshot of the wonderful mix of experience, background and personality that makes up our members, I hope we can demonstrate our desire and passion for difference in every form,” said Mr Griffiths.

The PSA’s policy-making body, the National Executive Committee (NEC), includes four reserved seats for members representing BAME, gender, LGBT+ and disability. The PSA say this is to enable the association to have a “clear understanding of issues affecting these community groups”.

Mr Griffiths hosts a regular ‘valuing difference’ forum for representatives from all national policing bodies and staff network groups to build on this understanding.

The PSA recently internally did an internal communications drive to improve the numbers of its members who share personal information with them. Latest figures show more members are now sharing information on protected characteristics, with 75 members sharing that they consider themselves to have a disability, compared with just 18 in 2019, and 85 sharing that they are members of the LGBT+ community, compared with just 41 in 2019.

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