Posted: Friday 19th August 2016
A review by the Equality and Human Rights Commission this week highlighted that Black and ethnic minority people in Britain still face entrenched inequality in many areas including criminal justice. The report found that black graduates earn on average 23.1% less than white graduates, and more ethnic minorities are unemployed. It also found that Black people in England are more than three times more likely to be a victim of homicide than those who are white. It was not a surprise to read that ethnic minorities are still "hugely under-represented" in positions of power - such as judges and senior police officers.
I am committed to making our local police service more representative of the communities it serves, and this is one of the priorities I am currently consulting on.
The Constabulary are making progress in this area with a dedicated ‘Representative Workforce’ team, please do follow them on Twitter @ASPoliceRepWork, to hear all about their work. However, I believe we can be more ambitious and we can re-double our efforts, if local people agree this should be a focus for the police. We must tackle race inequality urgently. If we do not, we really risk the divisions in our society growing and racial tensions increasing.
Recruitment for 128 police officers opens on Monday, September 5 and the Constabulary want to see applications from all sections of the community particularly amongst our diverse communities. Different people can bring different life experiences to the role of a police officer. It is only by embracing this diversity that Avon and Somerset can provide the best policing service for local people. I want all residents to be safe and feel safe and having frontline officers, out on the beat within our local communities is a key part of that. Applications are only open for one week, so do not delay visit www.avonandsomerset.police.uk if you are considering this challenging and rewarding career.
I am delighted to be attending Knowle West Fest tomorrow to support local people to stamp out hate crime in south Bristol. It is great to see a local community led movement such as Knowle West Against Racism, come together to support victims of hate crime and stand up to the people who perpetrate it. We all want to do our part to send a very strong message that there is no place for hate in Bristol. Knowle West Fest takes place on Filwood Broadway from 12 – 4 and I look forward to meeting many residents.
My office will continue to be out and about speaking to local people about their priorities for the police. They will be at Saturday’s event and in the city centre and Temple Meads on Friday, August 26. I would encourage everyone to have their say, as time is running out. I can only reflect your priorities in our next Police and Crime Plan if I hear from you direct, please go online to my website or call 01275 816377 if you would like to share your views.
I would like to apologise to residents who were caught up in the city centre closure last Sunday. I can appreciate your frustrations and inconvenience as I too was stuck in traffic in the city. However I am sure we all agree that our safety comes first and it’s important the police take suspicious incidents seriously. Gridlock was the price we had to pay last weekend however in comparison to some of the horrors we have seen on our TV’s it’s a small price.