Police Uplift Programme – The Diversity Factor

Last updated on July 17th, 2023 at 08:45 pm

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Much has been made, over a number of years, about a perceived lack of diversity within the Police Forces of England and Wales (nobody seems to worry too much about Police Scotland and PSNI).

If my memory serves me well, one of the highest profile critics of the topic was the Home Office, and in particular Theresa May. I seem to recall Sir Thomas Winsor commenting on it as well, but if I’m wrong someone will soon correct me.

Now we have the Police Uplift Programme, administered by the Home Office and responsible for the vast majority of recruitment since its inception.

With the Home Office at the helm, the problem of diversity should be quickly and easily resolved. Shouldn’t it?

Fortunately, amongst the plethora of datasets issued by the Home Office on PUP and Policing in general, are some quite detailed stats on gender and ethnicity.

So, I decided to take a look and compare the first set of data (June 2020, which appeards to be the first of the regular, quartely updates) and December 2021, the latest public release.

Before we go any further I must point out that I disagree with the officially issued figures for December 2021, in two places. The figures for White and Prefer Not To Say are different in the Report to the totals in their dataset. I have checked, and the dataset totals seem to be correct but errors have crept into the report.

Police Uplift Programme
Fig 1 – Ethnicity

I have to say, looking, at Fig 1, not much has changed. The differences between June 2020 and December 2021 really are not worth worrying about, and most can be swallowed up by the increase in Prefer Not To Say.

Police Uplift Programme
Fig 2 – Gender

As can be seen from Fig 2, nothing much has changed there either, a slight increase in the percentage of female officers, but not exactly earth-shattering.

I’m not criticising anybody at all for the lack of improvement in Diversity. All I would say on the matter is that it obviously isn’t as easy to improve as some would have you think. If the combined might of the Home Office, College of Policing and National Police Chiefs Council can only make such a small improvement over 2 years, then maybe it needs a completely new approach, or, dare I say, an acceptance that what we have is what we are destined to have, and no amount of initiatives and hard work will make a significant and measurable difference.

Finally, the National Audit Office have released their assessment of the Police Uplift Programme about a week ago. You can find the whole report here, but this is what they have to say on the matter of Diversity, presumably based on the same data as my assessment.

Police Uplift Programme
Fig 3 – NAO Diversity Assessment

Finally, and then I’ll let you go and enjoy your weekend, 3 pieces of information that I have certinly not seen previously in any formal document. Enjoy.

Police Uplift Programme
Fig 4 – Changes
Police Uplift Programme
Fig 5 – The Programme
Police Uplift Programme
Fig 6 – Entry Routes

I had never seen any version of the info in Fig 6 above before today.

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