Police cuts will harm BME representation

But Boris Johnson doesn't even know they're happening


At Mayor’s Question Time today, Boris Johnson claimed not to have heard about the planned cuts to London’s Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs). As the Assembly’s Police and Crime chair Joanne McCartney succinctly put it:

“You’re the Chair of MOPAC. That is astonishing.”

The Met is considering scrapping all 1,000 PCSO roles in London neighbourhoods, a move Labour have called ‘the nail in the coffin’ for neighbourhood policing. Today McCartney also revealed that new figures provided by the PCS Union have shown the plans would disproportionately hit BME representation in the Met.

The new data reveal that 34 per cent of neighbourhood PCSOs in London come from BME backgrounds compared with only around 12 per cent of police officers. In some boroughs the percentage is even higher; in Waltham Forest for example, 61 per cent of PCSOs are from BME backgrounds, as well as 50 per cent in Kensington and Chelsea.

The Met has made progress in improving recruitment of BME officers across the force – it now has three-and-a-half times more BME officers than in 1999. But the planned cuts will clearly be a huge step backwards, and have a negative impact on the Met’s target to create a force which reflects the community it serves.

A decision on the future of PCSOs is due to be taken at the Met’s Management Board meeting on 29 September. The options are either to remove all PCSOs, or to retain just 629 posts. Boris Johnson proved today that he has not even begun to assess the impact the cuts would have on police-community relations.

Ruby Stockham is a staff writer at Left Foot Forward

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7 Responses to “Police cuts will harm BME representation”

  1. Barry_Edwards

    Look, he’s got at least two other jobs – and he is giving this one up soon, his mind is not on it any more.

  2. damon

    What percentage of traffic wardens are BME?
    In London it looks like a majority.
    Why’s that?

  3. Giles Farthing

    great perhaps they can go back to hiring people on merit rather than having to hit quotas of specific ethnicities

  4. Selohesra

    I suspect the imbalance is less to do with racial bias in the selection process rather a bias in the mix of the applicants themselves. Some groups perhaps have different views on upholding the law and serving the country

  5. Tom

    Given that ‘merit’ includes whether or not the police can fix their institutional racism, I’d say it’s a [retty good reason to hire people.

  6. jj

    Who gives a fudge about the colour of the police officer?! Only LFF could make a song and dance over it and twist it in this way. Police officers have a role, and that is to fight crime, not to be below a certain percentage white British!!

  7. CEO Daffodil

    I always had the suspicion that PCSOs were overrepresented for BME people. I also always had the suspicion that PCSOs don’t do very much in comparison to real, properly trained officers.

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