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Written Question
Breast Cancer: Clinical Trials
13 Apr 2021

Questioner: Philippa Whitford

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 18 June 2020 to Question 56022 on Breast Cancer: Clinical Trials, what plans his Department has to recover and restart recruitment to clinical trial.

Answer (Edward Argar)

The Department’s National Institute for Health Research is supporting the National Health Service to deliver life-saving research through the Clinical Research Network which provides the infrastructure that allows high-quality clinical research funded by charities, the life-sciences industry and the public sector to be undertaken throughout the health and care system.

To enable research studies that have been paused to restart, plans are being developed to transition and manage the delivery of non-COVID-19 studies to ensure successful recovery of the portfolio.


Written Question
Public Sector: Pay
16 Mar 2021

Questioner: Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi

Question

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the effect of a pay freeze on the (a) retention and (b) recruitment of public sector workers.

Answer (Steve Barclay)

Covid-19 has had an unprecedented impact on the private sector labour market, with unemployment and redundancies rising, and those on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme seeing a significant fall in earnings. The public sector has been shielded from these effects.

Later this year, the independent Pay Review Bodies (PRB’s) will publish evidence and commentary on recruitment and retention for ten of the largest public sector workforces including: armed forces, teachers, police officers, the National Crime Agency, prison officers, doctors and dentists, Agenda for Change NHS non-medical staff, the Judiciary, senior civil servants and senior military personnel.

The Government will reassess public sector pay policy ahead of the 2022/23 Annual Pay Round when the impact of Covid-19 on the wider labour market will be clearer.

Latest data shows that recruitment and retention in some of our largest workforces remains strong. We have recruited over 41,000 new trainee teachers this year – 23% more than last year – and postgraduate recruitment is at its highest level since 2010/11.

In the NHS joiner rates are higher than last year at 13.8%, and leaver rates have fallen since 2017/18. UCAS end of cycle data shows 25,100 student nurses enrolled on courses in 2020/2, a 27% increase at English providers compared to the previous year.


Written Question
Prison Officers: Pay
24 Feb 2021

Questioner: Grahame Morris

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, whether he has received (a) advice and (b) guidance on what constitutes exceptional circumstances for the purpose of considering recommendations by the Prison Service Pay Review Body; and if he will make a statement.

Answer (Lucy Frazer)

The 20/21 PSPRB report was received on 5 June 2020 and included a recommendation, recommendation 3, to uplift the pay of Band 3 prison staff on modernised terms and conditions by £3,000. This recommendation was ultimately not accepted by the government, on the basis of the exceptional costs associated with implementing the recommendation, the impact on the overall prison service pay structure, and the changing labour market conditions due to the exceptional economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The decision regarding this recommendation was announced on 10 December 2020 (https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-statements/detail/2020-12-10/hcws638).

Ahead of the decision regarding this recommendation, extensive work was undertaken by the Ministry of Justice together with HM Treasury to understand the costs and impacts of it. This included considering whether any workforce reforms could be delivered alongside the recommendation which would create efficiencies and savings, and therefore deliver value for money by offsetting some of the cost of the recommendation. This was undertaken with a view to possible discussions with recognised trade unions, should an option for affordable delivery of the recommendation, which could offer value for money for taxpayers be identified. The conclusion was that sufficient savings required to offer value for money could not be achieved, meaning the recommendation remained unaffordable.

The Ministry of Justice also considered the possible impacts on recruitment, retention and morale, which in turn have an effect on prison safety and security. However, recruitment, retention and staff morale levels are all driven by a range of factors and an increase in pay alone cannot be assumed to be a fix for these issues. Furthermore, there are significant investments being made into prison safety and security, and financial pressures from elsewhere impact our ability to deliver these.

An Equalities Impact Assessment was conducted and considered in reaching the decision to reject recommendation 3. This considered the demographics of staff and how the decision to reject the recommendation would interact with eliminating unlawful discrimination and advancing quality of opportunity.

The Secretary of State’s policy is that PSPRB recommendations will only be departed from “in exceptional circumstances, one of which would be on the grounds of affordability”. Furthermore, all appropriate advice was taken by the Secretary of State for Justice as to the relevant facts and tests relevant to the decision on recommendation 3.

The decision of 10 December 2020 to ultimately reject recommendation 3 was taken by the Secretary of State. It was not subject to the Cabinet committee write round procedure but was, as is consistent with usual practice with respect to public sector pay awards, preceded by HM Treasury input.

The Department remains committed to working with the review body, within the boundaries of the pay restraint policy as set out by the Chancellor for the 2021/22 pay round, which includes targeted awards for those earning less than £24k per annum. We will also continue to work closely with recognised trade unions.


Written Question
Prison Officers: Pay
24 Feb 2021

Questioner: Grahame Morris

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what discussions he has had with Cabinet colleagues on the decision to reject the Prison Service Pay Review Body’s recommendation 3.

Answer (Lucy Frazer)

The 20/21 PSPRB report was received on 5 June 2020 and included a recommendation, recommendation 3, to uplift the pay of Band 3 prison staff on modernised terms and conditions by £3,000. This recommendation was ultimately not accepted by the government, on the basis of the exceptional costs associated with implementing the recommendation, the impact on the overall prison service pay structure, and the changing labour market conditions due to the exceptional economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The decision regarding this recommendation was announced on 10 December 2020 (https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-statements/detail/2020-12-10/hcws638).

Ahead of the decision regarding this recommendation, extensive work was undertaken by the Ministry of Justice together with HM Treasury to understand the costs and impacts of it. This included considering whether any workforce reforms could be delivered alongside the recommendation which would create efficiencies and savings, and therefore deliver value for money by offsetting some of the cost of the recommendation. This was undertaken with a view to possible discussions with recognised trade unions, should an option for affordable delivery of the recommendation, which could offer value for money for taxpayers be identified. The conclusion was that sufficient savings required to offer value for money could not be achieved, meaning the recommendation remained unaffordable.

The Ministry of Justice also considered the possible impacts on recruitment, retention and morale, which in turn have an effect on prison safety and security. However, recruitment, retention and staff morale levels are all driven by a range of factors and an increase in pay alone cannot be assumed to be a fix for these issues. Furthermore, there are significant investments being made into prison safety and security, and financial pressures from elsewhere impact our ability to deliver these.

An Equalities Impact Assessment was conducted and considered in reaching the decision to reject recommendation 3. This considered the demographics of staff and how the decision to reject the recommendation would interact with eliminating unlawful discrimination and advancing quality of opportunity.

The Secretary of State’s policy is that PSPRB recommendations will only be departed from “in exceptional circumstances, one of which would be on the grounds of affordability”. Furthermore, all appropriate advice was taken by the Secretary of State for Justice as to the relevant facts and tests relevant to the decision on recommendation 3.

The decision of 10 December 2020 to ultimately reject recommendation 3 was taken by the Secretary of State. It was not subject to the Cabinet committee write round procedure but was, as is consistent with usual practice with respect to public sector pay awards, preceded by HM Treasury input.

The Department remains committed to working with the review body, within the boundaries of the pay restraint policy as set out by the Chancellor for the 2021/22 pay round, which includes targeted awards for those earning less than £24k per annum. We will also continue to work closely with recognised trade unions.


Written Question
Prison Officers: Pay
24 Feb 2021

Questioner: Grahame Morris

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what financial analysis his Department undertook prior to the decision to reject the Prison Service Pay Review Body’s recommendation 3.

Answer (Lucy Frazer)

The 20/21 PSPRB report was received on 5 June 2020 and included a recommendation, recommendation 3, to uplift the pay of Band 3 prison staff on modernised terms and conditions by £3,000. This recommendation was ultimately not accepted by the government, on the basis of the exceptional costs associated with implementing the recommendation, the impact on the overall prison service pay structure, and the changing labour market conditions due to the exceptional economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The decision regarding this recommendation was announced on 10 December 2020 (https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-statements/detail/2020-12-10/hcws638).

Ahead of the decision regarding this recommendation, extensive work was undertaken by the Ministry of Justice together with HM Treasury to understand the costs and impacts of it. This included considering whether any workforce reforms could be delivered alongside the recommendation which would create efficiencies and savings, and therefore deliver value for money by offsetting some of the cost of the recommendation. This was undertaken with a view to possible discussions with recognised trade unions, should an option for affordable delivery of the recommendation, which could offer value for money for taxpayers be identified. The conclusion was that sufficient savings required to offer value for money could not be achieved, meaning the recommendation remained unaffordable.

The Ministry of Justice also considered the possible impacts on recruitment, retention and morale, which in turn have an effect on prison safety and security. However, recruitment, retention and staff morale levels are all driven by a range of factors and an increase in pay alone cannot be assumed to be a fix for these issues. Furthermore, there are significant investments being made into prison safety and security, and financial pressures from elsewhere impact our ability to deliver these.

An Equalities Impact Assessment was conducted and considered in reaching the decision to reject recommendation 3. This considered the demographics of staff and how the decision to reject the recommendation would interact with eliminating unlawful discrimination and advancing quality of opportunity.

The Secretary of State’s policy is that PSPRB recommendations will only be departed from “in exceptional circumstances, one of which would be on the grounds of affordability”. Furthermore, all appropriate advice was taken by the Secretary of State for Justice as to the relevant facts and tests relevant to the decision on recommendation 3.

The decision of 10 December 2020 to ultimately reject recommendation 3 was taken by the Secretary of State. It was not subject to the Cabinet committee write round procedure but was, as is consistent with usual practice with respect to public sector pay awards, preceded by HM Treasury input.

The Department remains committed to working with the review body, within the boundaries of the pay restraint policy as set out by the Chancellor for the 2021/22 pay round, which includes targeted awards for those earning less than £24k per annum. We will also continue to work closely with recognised trade unions.


Written Question
Prison Officers: Pay
24 Feb 2021

Questioner: Grahame Morris

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what equality impact assessment his Department has undertaken on the decision to reject the Prison Service Pay Review Body’s recommendation 3.

Answer (Lucy Frazer)

The 20/21 PSPRB report was received on 5 June 2020 and included a recommendation, recommendation 3, to uplift the pay of Band 3 prison staff on modernised terms and conditions by £3,000. This recommendation was ultimately not accepted by the government, on the basis of the exceptional costs associated with implementing the recommendation, the impact on the overall prison service pay structure, and the changing labour market conditions due to the exceptional economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The decision regarding this recommendation was announced on 10 December 2020 (https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-statements/detail/2020-12-10/hcws638).

Ahead of the decision regarding this recommendation, extensive work was undertaken by the Ministry of Justice together with HM Treasury to understand the costs and impacts of it. This included considering whether any workforce reforms could be delivered alongside the recommendation which would create efficiencies and savings, and therefore deliver value for money by offsetting some of the cost of the recommendation. This was undertaken with a view to possible discussions with recognised trade unions, should an option for affordable delivery of the recommendation, which could offer value for money for taxpayers be identified. The conclusion was that sufficient savings required to offer value for money could not be achieved, meaning the recommendation remained unaffordable.

The Ministry of Justice also considered the possible impacts on recruitment, retention and morale, which in turn have an effect on prison safety and security. However, recruitment, retention and staff morale levels are all driven by a range of factors and an increase in pay alone cannot be assumed to be a fix for these issues. Furthermore, there are significant investments being made into prison safety and security, and financial pressures from elsewhere impact our ability to deliver these.

An Equalities Impact Assessment was conducted and considered in reaching the decision to reject recommendation 3. This considered the demographics of staff and how the decision to reject the recommendation would interact with eliminating unlawful discrimination and advancing quality of opportunity.

The Secretary of State’s policy is that PSPRB recommendations will only be departed from “in exceptional circumstances, one of which would be on the grounds of affordability”. Furthermore, all appropriate advice was taken by the Secretary of State for Justice as to the relevant facts and tests relevant to the decision on recommendation 3.

The decision of 10 December 2020 to ultimately reject recommendation 3 was taken by the Secretary of State. It was not subject to the Cabinet committee write round procedure but was, as is consistent with usual practice with respect to public sector pay awards, preceded by HM Treasury input.

The Department remains committed to working with the review body, within the boundaries of the pay restraint policy as set out by the Chancellor for the 2021/22 pay round, which includes targeted awards for those earning less than £24k per annum. We will also continue to work closely with recognised trade unions.


Written Question
Prison Officers: Pay
24 Feb 2021

Questioner: Grahame Morris

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the potential effect on prison safety of the decision to reject the Prison Service Pay Review Body’s recommendation 3.

Answer (Lucy Frazer)

The 20/21 PSPRB report was received on 5 June 2020 and included a recommendation, recommendation 3, to uplift the pay of Band 3 prison staff on modernised terms and conditions by £3,000. This recommendation was ultimately not accepted by the government, on the basis of the exceptional costs associated with implementing the recommendation, the impact on the overall prison service pay structure, and the changing labour market conditions due to the exceptional economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The decision regarding this recommendation was announced on 10 December 2020 (https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-statements/detail/2020-12-10/hcws638).

Ahead of the decision regarding this recommendation, extensive work was undertaken by the Ministry of Justice together with HM Treasury to understand the costs and impacts of it. This included considering whether any workforce reforms could be delivered alongside the recommendation which would create efficiencies and savings, and therefore deliver value for money by offsetting some of the cost of the recommendation. This was undertaken with a view to possible discussions with recognised trade unions, should an option for affordable delivery of the recommendation, which could offer value for money for taxpayers be identified. The conclusion was that sufficient savings required to offer value for money could not be achieved, meaning the recommendation remained unaffordable.

The Ministry of Justice also considered the possible impacts on recruitment, retention and morale, which in turn have an effect on prison safety and security. However, recruitment, retention and staff morale levels are all driven by a range of factors and an increase in pay alone cannot be assumed to be a fix for these issues. Furthermore, there are significant investments being made into prison safety and security, and financial pressures from elsewhere impact our ability to deliver these.

An Equalities Impact Assessment was conducted and considered in reaching the decision to reject recommendation 3. This considered the demographics of staff and how the decision to reject the recommendation would interact with eliminating unlawful discrimination and advancing quality of opportunity.

The Secretary of State’s policy is that PSPRB recommendations will only be departed from “in exceptional circumstances, one of which would be on the grounds of affordability”. Furthermore, all appropriate advice was taken by the Secretary of State for Justice as to the relevant facts and tests relevant to the decision on recommendation 3.

The decision of 10 December 2020 to ultimately reject recommendation 3 was taken by the Secretary of State. It was not subject to the Cabinet committee write round procedure but was, as is consistent with usual practice with respect to public sector pay awards, preceded by HM Treasury input.

The Department remains committed to working with the review body, within the boundaries of the pay restraint policy as set out by the Chancellor for the 2021/22 pay round, which includes targeted awards for those earning less than £24k per annum. We will also continue to work closely with recognised trade unions.


Written Question
Prisons: Wales
9 Feb 2021

Questioner: Liz Saville Roberts

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many (a) prison officers and (b) other staff members at (i) HMP Berwyn and (ii) other prisons in Wales are Welsh speaking.

Answer (Lucy Frazer)

HMPPS do not gather official statistics about the number of Welsh speaking staff in prisons. The below local information was collected by Equalities Leads in Wales in Jan 2021, however, this is subject to staff declaring themselves to be Welsh speakers. There is also varying levels of fluency among staff.

Public Sector Prison

Number of operational Welsh speaking Staff

Number of non-operational Welsh speaking staff

HMP Berwyn

14

5

HMP Cardiff

8

2

HMP Swansea

16

6

HMP Usk & Prescoed

5

1

At HMP Parc, 32 operational staff and 26 non-operational staff are Welsh speakers.

We are working hard to increase the diversity of prison staff and making the recruitment process more accessible to new starters from a range of backgrounds, and we continue to welcome applications from Welsh speakers and in the Welsh language.


Written Question
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport: Apprentices
8 Feb 2021

Questioner: Kate Green

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, how many and what proportion of the staff employed by his Department are apprentices.

Answer (John Whittingdale)

As of 31 March 2020, the Civil Service has achieved a total of 2.1% of its total workforce as apprentices against the legislative target for the public sector of 2.3% by March 2021.

As at the end of January 2021, DCMS employed 1,726 FTE civil servants, 14 of whom are currently apprentices (0.81% of staff). This target is a percentage of the total workforce so the percentage attained will change in line with workforce fluctuations over time, making it challenging to predict when a department will meet it. The data for 2018/19 can be found here. The data for 2019/20 can be found here https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/civil-service-apprenticeship-data-2018-to-2019.

DCMS is committed to increasing the number of apprentices across the Civil Service and continue to work towards the 2.3% target. The impact of the current pandemic has slowed progress against the target due to priority work and logistics. DCMS had four apprentice starts in the first three quarters of 2020-21 and has a further 11 starts planned for Q4. This would take us to 1.68% by the end of the financial year.

With the current strategy and targets coming to an end in April 2021, the Civil Service is focusing on how to continue to support the apprenticeship agenda and drive forward apprenticeship recruitment, building on the Plan for Jobs initiative and considering the current economic situation.


Written Question
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs: Apprentices
4 Feb 2021

Questioner: Tulip Siddiq

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many and what proportion of the staff employed by his Department are apprentices.

Answer (Victoria Prentis)

As of 31 March 2020, the Civil Service has achieved a total of 2.1% of its total workforce as apprentices against the legislative target for the public sector of 2.3% by March 2021.

Core Defra has achieved 1% of the total staff employed within the department. A further 57 apprentices are currently being enrolled and we expect these to be fully enrolled by 31/03/21.

This target is a percentage of the total workforce so the percentage attained will change in line with workforce fluctuations over time, making it challenging to predict when a department will meet it. The data for 2018/19 can be found here. The data for 2019/20 can be found here.

Defra has an apprenticeship strategy which has the following priorities:

  1. Increase the use of apprenticeships in external recruitment
  2. Use targeted apprenticeship recruitment to improve inclusion/ diversity of workforce
  3. Promote the use of apprenticeships to support the development of existing employees at all grades
  4. Increase/maximise levy usage

Defra is launching three recruitment campaigns in National Apprenticeship Week (8–14 February) for the following apprenticeships: Project Management Level 4; Policy Officer Level 4; Business Administration Level 3.

Departments are committed to increasing the number of apprentices across the Civil Service and continue to work towards the 2.3% target.


Written Question
Prison Officers: Pay
1 Feb 2021

Questioner: Dan Carden

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the effect on prison officer (a) recruitment, (b) retention and (c) morale of his Department’s decision to reject the Prison Service Pay Review Body’s Recommendation 3.

Answer (Lucy Frazer)

In July 2020, the Government accepted in full six out of seven recommendations made by the Prison Service Pay Review Body. This delivered an increase of at least 2.5% with some staff receiving up to 7% with progression. This delivered an above inflation increase and was the third year in a row that prison staff have benefitted from a pay award of at least 2%.

The Government committed to consider recommendation 3 in more detail due to the affordability challenges a £3,000 uplift posed, and the concern that such a significant increase in pay was out of step with the awards given to other public sector workforces. After careful consideration, the recommendation was ultimately rejected, and this was announced on 10 December 2020.

As part of this decision making, recruitment, retention and staff morale were carefully considered alongside affordability and value for money for the taxpayer. However, recruitment and retention and staff morale levels are all driven by a range of factors and an increase of pay alone cannot be assumed to be a fix for these issues.

It is not possible at this time, particularly during the unique and complex challenges presented by the pandemic, to isolate and quantify the impact of the decision to reject the PSPRB’s ‘recommendation 3’.

I highly value the work of prison staff and the decision to reject ‘recommendation 3’ should in no way suggest otherwise. I remain immensely grateful to the hardworking public servants who are critical to the safe and secure running of our prisons.


Written Question
Football: Ethnic Groups
18 Jan 2021

Questioner: Lord Taylor of Warwick

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to support the Football Association in the recruitment of BAME referees in grassroots football.

Answer (Baroness Barran)

The Government is in regular dialogue with the Football Association (FA) across a range of matters, including diversity. We welcomed the launch of the FA’s ‘Football Leadership Diversity Code’ which is a step in the right direction to ensure English football better represents our modern and diverse society, on and off the pitch. The Code commits clubs to tackling inequality, including hiring targets, across senior leadership positions, broader team operations and coaching roles. The FA has also committed to following this with a version adapted for the National League System and grassroots clubs in Spring 2021.

Ministers discussed the Code with the FA, as well as other matters including tackling discrimination, in a roundtable with key football stakeholders in November 2020.

The Government is also committed to working with all sports to ensure opportunities to progress are open to all, from athletes to administrators, to board members. As an example of this, in July 2020 Sport England and UK Sport announced a joint review of the Code for Sports Governance. The Code sets out the levels of transparency, accountability and financial integrity required from those who ask for government and National Lottery funding. It currently says that organisations must show a "strong and public commitment" to progressing ethnic diversity. However, it is right to review this to ensure that opportunities to progress are open to all. The Government will be working with UK Sport and Sport England to set new expectations and ensure the sport sector leads by example.

However, there is still progress to be made and the Government will continue to liaise closely with the football authorities on their efforts to improve diversity in the sport.


Written Question
Civil Servants: Recruitment
15 Jan 2021

Questioner: Jon Trickett

Question

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps he is taking to increase the number of people from (a) working class and (b) disadvantaged backgrounds (i) applying for and (ii) securing places on the Civil Service Fast Stream programme.

Answer (Julia Lopez)

In line with the Government’s approach to equality - which goes beyond the protected characteristics in the Public Sector Equality Duty - the Fast Stream graduate programme has a strong commitment to increasing the representation of all currently under-represented groups, including those from working class and disadvantaged backgrounds.

To increase success rates and broaden the entry pool of those from disadvantaged backgrounds the Fast Stream introduced programmes such as the Early Diversity and the Summer Diversity Internship Programmes.These programmes provide undergraduates from a socially or economically disadvantaged background the opportunity to gain experience of working for the Civil Service the Fast Stream. Undertaking an internship significantly increases the success rate onto the Fast Stream.

To attract an increased number of applications from those with working class and disadvantaged backgrounds, we have a range of specific interventions. These include targeted outreach (including virtual events) to universities with high proportions of socially and economically disadvantaged students, and working with partners (e.g. UpReach and Rare Recruitment) to advertise the Fast Stream as a scheme open to all.


Written Question
Public Sector: Pay
14 Dec 2020

Questioner: Sarah Jones

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment her Department has made of the potential effect of the public sector pay freeze above £24,000 on the retention and recruitment of (a) police officers, (b) PCSOs and (c) police staff.

Answer (Kit Malthouse)

The Police Remuneration Review Body (PRRB) provides independent advice to the Government on pay and conditions for police officers. The number of officers earning less than £24,000 per annum will be considered by the PRRB in the 2021/22 pay round.

Following the 2020 Spending Review, at least £400m additional funding has been allocated for police forces next year to continue the Police Uplift Programme. This will enable the recruitment of up to 6,000 additional officers next year, continuing the progress on recruitment to date. All forces are well on track to meet their year one allocation and over 5,000 officers have already been recruited as a result of this Government drive.

The retention of experienced police officers is a priority for the Home Office. We are working alongside the National Police Chiefs’ Council to maximise opportunities to retain police officers who have valuable skills and policing experience.

The Government has no statutory role in determining the pay and conditions for police staff, including Police Community Support Officers, which are agreed locally by Chief Constables in consultation with trade unions.


Written Question
Police: Recruitment
9 Dec 2020

Questioner: Dawn Butler

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will bring forward legislative proposals for police officer recruitment to maximise the number of black recruits.

Answer (Kit Malthouse)

Police forces that reflect the communities they serve are crucial to tackling crime and maintaining public trust and confidence in a modern diverse society. While the police workforce is more representative in terms of gender and ethnicity than it has ever been, there is still much more to be done.

We have been clear that the uplift in officers is a once in generation opportunity to improve diversity. The Equality Act 2010 includes positive action provisions to enable employers to address identified under-representation of protected groups in the workplace, such as black officers in the police, as well as Asian and other minority ethnic officers. There is much greater scope than has been used so far for the police to use the positive action provisions of equalities legislation to improve recruitment and progression of officers from under-represented groups.

Some forces have made significant improvements in the rate of black, Asian and minority ethnic joiners through successful positive action measures. The relative rates of representation vary from force to force. However, we are clear that every force should be striving to become representative of the communities it serves. Information is available on police.uk that shows the ethnicity and gender representation for each police force compared to local force area populations. This allows the public to hold forces to account.

There is already work in train across the sector to support forces in doing this. The College of Policing has delivered a major programme of work to support forces in their efforts to address under-representation in the recruitment, retention and progression of officers and has published advice on the lawful use of positive action to address under-representation in policing at all levels. The National Police Chiefs’ Council has also published a workforce representation toolkit which includes practical actions forces can take to increase the recruitment, retention and progression of officers from under-represented groups in policing

The Government has also supported innovative schemes, such as Police Now, which are making the police workforce more diverse than ever before; showing that we can attract the brightest and best into policing, whilst introducing new perspectives from some of the country’s most challenging neighbourhoods.