British Transport Police bosses have come under fire for holding a series of recruitment workshops for women and BME candidates but should actually be applauded for their efforts.
Among the FOIs I sent to the force earlier this year was one asking for their diversity stats in the London region – I wanted to see how they compared against the Met which has been working hard to boost its diversity and so further improve the service Londoners receive.
Disappointingly the force’s response came back as:
“In relation to your request for the gender and ethnicity diversity numbers for officers operating within British Transport Police’s TfL division during the past five years, the information you have requested cannot be easily retrieved.
“British Transport Police record data and produce annual diversity reports on a forcewide basis annually. Data is not collated on a divisional basis and there would be a number of obstacles to attempting to retrieve this data relating to a specific geographical area.”
But, in an effort to be helpful, I was sent the most recent five annual reports which include the forcewide figures.
According to the 2015/16 report, of 3,058 officers just 260 (8.5%) were from an ethnic minority and only 563 were women.
These are not great numbers but the recruitment workshops show the force is taking action to address this so, instead of piling in on them as some people are
— David Kurten ن (@davidkurten) October 12, 2017
we should welcome and encourage their actions. The more diverse any police force, the more public confidence it will enjoy and the easier it’ll find it to work with communities.