Manchester Chief Constable makes diversity pledge

The Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police has said he will ensure his staff are treated fairly and that he will build a diverse workforce.

Sir Peter Fahy has accepted the recommendations of a University of Manchester report, which found that ethnicity was a factor in internal misconduct and counter-corruption investigations involving police officers and staff.

He has set up a working group to develop further research into disproportionality in misconduct proceedings and counter-corruption investigations.
The report also revealed that ethnicity was also a significant factor in West Midlands Police and British Transport Police services.
The study - led by Dr Graham Smith from The University of Manchester, revealed:

  • Within West Midlands Police, Asian officers were twice as likely to be subjected to misconduct investigation as white officers.
  • Black officers and staff within the British Transport Police were 2.4 and 2.7 times more likely than white officers and staff, respectively, to be investigated for misconduct.
  • Asian officers and staff within Greater Manchester Police were 2.8 and 3.6 times more likely than white officers and staff, respectively, to be investigated for corruption.
  • Ethnic minority officers in Greater Manchester Police felt they were more likely to be formally investigated for wrongdoing, whereas white officers were dealt with informally.

Research into misconduct proceedings involving health and legal practitioners have revealed similar concerns and have resulted in a range of responses by employers and regulatory bodies.

The research and service responses will be discussed at a 26 March conference, ‘Disproportionality and misconduct in the professions: understanding and responding to difference’, to be held at The University of Manchester, with contributions from Greater Manchester Police Chief Constable Sir Peter Fahy and National Black Police Association President Charles Crichlow.

Other speakers include Solicitors Regulation Authority Chief Executive Antony Townsend, Equalities and Human Rights Commissioner Evelyn Asante-Mensah, and British International Doctors’ Association Vice Chairman, Dr Umesh Prabhu.

Dr Smith is a member of ManReg: The Manchester Centre for Regulation, Governance and Security; based in the University’s School of Law.

He said: “Greater Manchester Police has taken a leading role in addressing a problem which is not restricted to police services. The research evidence reveals there is much in common in ethnic minority practitioners’ experiences of disproportionality in misconduct proceedings in a number of professions. The conference will provide an opportunity for representatives of employers, regulators, professional bodies and practitioners to develop their understanding of common problems and share best practice.”

Sir Peter Fahy, Chief Constable, Greater Manchester Police, said: "We have been very clear that disproportionality in discipline issues has existed in GMP and other forces and the University work has highlighted that it also occurs in other professions. The research carried out by Graham Smith is helping us to understand some of the underlying causes which are complex and wrapped up in a host of cultural issues. GMP is totally committed to ensuring all our staff are treated fairly and that we have a diverse workforce reflecting the nature of the community we police. We believe it is better that this issue is openly debated and welcome further research and discussion with other employers."

President of the National Black Police Association Charles Crichlow said: “NBPA welcome the opportunity to publicly examine the disturbing issues of disproportionality highlighted in this report.

“Working with other professions to share and develop understanding is a step forward. We must be absolutely committed to confronting unfair practices and upholding real Professional Standards within the Police service and across the Criminal Justice Spectrum. Failure to grip this issue undermines trust and confidence in the Police Service and the Criminal Justice System.”