Police appeal to county’s minority communities as the force starts massive expansion
Police want to see the South Yorkshire force’s biggest recruiting drive in years help ensure the service better reflects the communities it is responsible for in future.
Hundreds of new officers will be employed by South Yorkshire Police in the next few years following years of stagnation, as a result of increased numbers from both the force’s own expansion plans and the additional boost of 20,000 more officers announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
Overall, the police service would like to reflect its communities in the make-up of its staff as closely as possible and at present South Yorkshire Police has women making up around a third of officers.
Now the service is keen to increase numbers from black minority ethnic communities, with a target of getting numbers up to five per cent of its officer staff – but that can only happen if enough suitable candidates apply.
South Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Dr Alan Billings, said he believed there would be potential candidates with skills – such as degree qualifications – which could be used to positive effect in pursuing a police career.
“I know there are a lot of BME kids who are university and college students and we are saying ‘do think about a policing’. It is a good career and a secure career,” he said.
In addition, Dr Billings said the force was keen to hear from candidates in communities which had been hit by changes in industry and recession in recent decades, such as former mining villages, where young people still found it a struggle to find rewarding jobs with career progression.
“We are talking about hundreds of jobs in the next few years,” he said.
Police in South Yorkshire is now regarded as a highly professional career path and in future all new officers will either be graduates or will enter the service on a programme to reach that level of education.
It brings the prospect of rising to a higher level within the police service and also offers security because police officers cannot be made redundant.