Just six per cent of the officers in Bedfordshire Police are from an ethnic minority background despite the county sporting two large multi-cultural centres, according to figures recently released by the Home Office.
The report on police service strength throughout the country, which was released earlier this year, shows that only 1.1 per cent of officers in the county’s police force are black, 1.5 per cent are mixed race and three per cent are Asian compared to 93 per cent of officers who are white.
Peter Conniff, chairman of Bedfordshire Police Authority, said: “Achieving a representative proportion of black and minority ethnic (BME) officers and staff is a challenge faced by many police forces, but this has been hampered by the need to reduce the numbers of people employed to meet the funding gap.
“A representative balance has long been a key priority for the police authority but over recent years the focus has, of necessity, changed to retaining the BME members of officers and staff currently employed by Bedfordshire Police.
Earlier this week, our sister paper Bedford Midweek, reported how the number of officers in the county had fallen by almost five per cent in the past year, with a total of 85 people out of the job since 2010 leaving Bedfordshire Police strength at 1157 men and women.