Britain’s only black police chief constable has said he is disappointed that no other black officer has also been able to rise to his position.
Mike Fuller, who became chief constable in Kent in 2004, said the lack of black chief constables was “a source of personal disappointment”, and there had not been as much progress to get more black officers into senior positions as he had hoped to see.
In an interview with the Times, he said: “It is a source of personal disappointment that I have not been followed by more black chief constables. Women progressed after Pauline Clare became chief [of Lancashire Constabulary in 1995] – quite soon afterwards you had more women getting chief constable positions. But that has not been repeated in the experience of having more black chief constables.
“I don’t think there is any lack of will among chiefs in terms of what they are doing in recruitment. You have got to have people who are suitable, who are experienced, who are qualified. Yet it is something that has disappointed me – there has not been the progress that I would like to have seen.”
Fuller added boycotts and protests by black police associations had not helped to eliminate racism in the police service.
He said the way to improve ethnic minority representation in senior ranks was instead through mentoring and motivation.
Fuller’s comments came in the week that commander Ali Dizaei, a former president of the National Black Police Association (NBPA), was jailed for four years for falsifying a case.
Just 2% of full-time officers came from ethnic minority backgrounds at the time of the Macpherson report in 1999, which claimed the police service was institutionally racist. Today, that figure is 4.4%.