Police authorities across England and Wales have launched a recruitment campaign today aimed at attracting a new wave of independent members, to help hold police to account on behalf of local communities.
Women, younger people and people from ethnic minority backgrounds are being encouraged to apply, to enable police authorities to fully reflect the diversity of their local communities.
Bob Jones, chairman of the Association of Police Authorities, said: “Police authorities have an increasingly important role to play in holding the police to account on behalf of local people, and this recruitment process will give successful applicants the chance to do just that.
“We are particularly looking for people who are active in their local communities, who are likely to have skills in community or race relations.
“We are also looking for applicants who have other expertise such as in management, business, finance, public service, or the equalities field. After all, it is our job to make sure that local people get the highest standards of service from their local police across all areas and at all levels.”
Jenny Watson, chair of the Equal Opportunities Commission, said: “Authorities that do not look and sound like the communities they represent can not hope to be effective. With just under 30% of all police authority members women, we welcome this effort to address the imbalance and have no doubt it well help us build more cohesive, safer communities.”
Under the amended Race Relations Act all police authorities and forces have a statutory general duty to eliminate unlawful racial discrimination, and to promote equal opportunities and good race relations.