Outgoing chair of the National Police Chiefs’ Council Sara Thornton has called for the introduction of positive race discrimination for new recruits. In an interview to mark 20 years since the Macpherson report into Stephen Lawrence’s death, Thornton spoke about an existing “unconscious bias” in the police force. Attempts for the proportion of ethnic minority officers to reflect the proportion in the populations they work within have failed, with not a single one of the 43 forces in England and Wales having achieved this. Just 7% of police in England and Wales are from an ethnic minority, despite making up 14% of the population. According to Thornton, the police could remain overwhelmingly white for several decades if positive discrimination laws are not adopted.
Commenting on the issue, Thornton said “If you want to do something to give a shock to the system and say we can’t wait to 2052, I think we need to do something different. It is a political judgment, isn’t it? How important is this? If it’s important, then I think you need to look at a different approach.”
Source: Police leader calls for laws to allow positive race discrimination, theguardian.com, 22 February 2019.