Gloucestershire Police force vows not to break race law again

Gloucestershire Police has given written assurances to the Commission for Racial Equality (CRE) that it will not break the Race Relations Act again.

The move came after the CRE advised the force that an initiative, which saw 108 white applicants turned down in favour of ethnic minority candidates, was likely to breach the law. The Act specifically outlaws positive discrimination.

A spokesman for the CRE told Personnel Today: “The CRE advised Gloucestershire Police that we thought its recruitment procedure for September 2005 was likely to breach the Race Relations Act. It has put an end to the practice and has given us written assurance that it will comply with the law in future. The matter is now closed.”

Last week, it emerged that Avon and Somerset Police would escape legal censure despite rejecting 186 applicants because it “was over-represented by white men”, as it had given the CRE similar written assurances.

The CRE spokesman said both cases highlighted the difficulties police forces and other employers faced when trying to tackle the problem of under-representation within their workforces

“There is a need for a public debate that looks at how other measures may be used to help authorities tackle under-representation across all elements of discrimination,” he said. “In the meantime, we will encourage police forces to use every legal step available to them to improve representation.”

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