Police workforce

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1. Main facts and figures

  • as of 31 March 2016, 94.1% (114,437) of police officers were White (including White ethnic minority groups), and 5.9% (7,218) came from other ethnic groups

  • the proportion of police officers from other ethnic groups has increased year on year, from 3.9% in 2007 to 5.9% in 2016

  • in the population of England and Wales as a whole, 86% of people are White, and 14% belong to other ethnic groups

Things you need to know

Staff are counted by FTE (full-time equivalent), in other words, staff who work 2.5 days each week are counted as 0.5 of a staff member. Special constables are volunteers with variable hours, so are counted per head. Data is sourced from the personnel records for the 43 police forces in England and Wales and the British Transport Police.

Population estimates are based on the 2011 Census.

Since the British Transport Police cover all of England and Wales, a rate per population per region has not been calculated. Similarly, the City of London Police serve a very large daytime population, compared to the number of residents, and so it is not meaningful to show a rate per population for this force.

The data on the proportion of police workers from other ethnic groups does not include police staff whose ethnicity is not known, or is undisclosed. Nor are officers who didn't disclose their ethnicity counted towards the total number of people in the police workforce, when calculating percentages.

What the data measures

This data measures the numbers of police workers from the Asian, Black, Mixed, White and Other ethnic groups, compared to the total population for that ethnicity within each of the 43 Police Force Areas.

For example, the data looks at the number of Black officers in South Yorkshire Police, compared to the total number of Black people in South Yorkshire.

Police workers include the total number of police officers, staff, police community support officers (PCSOs), designated officers and special constables, as at 31 March each year.

The ethnic categories used in this data

For the personnel records of police forces in England and Wales, staff are asked to place themselves within the following 5 broad ethnic categories:

  • Asian/Asian British
  • Black/African/Caribbean/Black British
  • Mixed/Multiple ethnic groups
  • White (including White ethnic minority groups)
  • Other ethnic group

2. Police officers by ethnicity over time

Percentage of police officers, compared with percentage of overall population, by ethnicity over time
Asian Black Mixed White Other
Year Asian % police officers Asian % population Black % police officers Black % population Mixed % police officers Mixed % population White % police officers White % population Other % police officers Other % population
2007 1.5 6.8 1.0 3.3 1.0 2.2 96.1 86.0 0.5 1.7
2008 1.6 6.8 1.0 3.3 1.1 2.2 95.9 86.0 0.5 1.7
2009 1.7 6.8 1.0 3.3 1.2 2.2 95.6 86.0 0.5 1.7
2010 1.8 6.8 1.0 3.3 1.3 2.2 95.3 86.0 0.5 1.7
2011 1.9 6.8 1.0 3.3 1.3 2.2 95.2 86.0 0.5 1.7
2012 2.0 6.8 1.1 3.3 1.4 2.2 95.0 86.0 0.6 1.7
2013 2.0 6.8 1.1 3.3 1.5 2.2 94.9 86.0 0.6 1.7
2014 2.1 6.8 1.1 3.3 1.5 2.2 94.7 86.0 0.6 1.7
2015 2.2 6.8 1.1 3.3 1.6 2.2 94.4 86.0 0.6 1.7
2016 2.4 6.8 1.2 3.3 1.7 2.2 94.1 86.0 0.7 1.7

Download table data for ‘Police officers by ethnicity over time’ (CSV) Source data for ‘Police officers by ethnicity over time’ (CSV)

Summary

This data shows that:

  • as at March 2016, 124,066 police officers were employed in the 43 police forces in England and Wales (excluding the British Transport Police), and 114,437 of those were from the White ethnic group

  • Black people made up 1.2% of police officers, Asian people made up 2.4%, those of Mixed ethnicity made up 1.7%, and 0.7% of officers were from the Other ethnic group (including Chinese officers)

  • between 2007 and 2016, the percentage of police officers from each of the Asian, Black, Mixed and Other ethnic groups increased

3. Police workforce by ethnicity and area

Percentage of police officers, compared with percentage of overall population, by ethnicity and police force area
Asian Black Mixed Other White
Police force area Asian % Asian % Population Black % Black % Population Mixed % Mixed % Population Other % Other % Population White % White % Population
All - excluding BTP 2.4 6.8 1.2 3.3 1.7 2.2 0.7 1.7 94.1 86.0
Avon & Somerset 0.3 2.1 0.6 1.9 1.6 1.8 0.3 1.0 97.2 93.3
Bedfordshire 3.5 13.2 1.2 4.8 1.9 3.0 0.0 1.4 93.4 77.5
British Transport Police 3.5 N/A* 2.5 N/A* 2.6 N/A* 0.5 N/A* 90.9 N/A*
Cambridgeshire 0.8 4.9 0.3 1.3 1.1 2.0 0.2 1.6 97.5 90.3
Cheshire 0.4 1.2 0.0 0.3 0.5 1.0 0.0 0.5 99.2 96.9
Cleveland 1.2 3.1 0.1 0.6 0.3 1.0 0.2 0.8 98.3 94.5
Cumbria 0.4 0.6 0.2 0.1 0.4 0.5 0.1 0.3 99.0 98.5
Derbyshire 2.3 3.6 0.3 1.0 0.7 1.4 0.2 0.7 96.5 93.3
Devon & Cornwall 0.2 0.7 0.3 0.2 0.8 0.9 0.3 0.6 98.5 97.5
Dorset 0.2 1.4 0.2 0.4 0.9 1.3 0.1 0.8 98.7 96.0
Durham 0.5 0.8 0.1 0.2 1.0 0.7 0.1 0.5 98.3 97.8
Dyfed-Powys 0.2 0.8 0.1 0.2 0.5 0.6 0.1 0.4 99.2 98.0
Essex 0.3 2.3 0.2 2.0 1.5 1.6 0.1 0.9 97.9 93.2
Gloucestershire 0.5 1.8 0.4 0.9 0.8 1.5 0.4 0.5 97.9 95.4
Greater Manchester 2.1 9.2 0.6 2.8 1.8 2.3 0.4 2.0 95.1 83.8
Gwent 0.6 1.7 0.5 0.6 0.5 1.0 0.1 0.6 98.3 96.1
Hampshire 0.9 3.0 0.2 0.9 1.2 1.6 0.5 1.1 97.2 93.3
Hertfordshire 1.8 5.7 0.6 2.8 1.8 2.5 0.1 1.4 95.7 87.6
Humberside 0.3 1.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.9 0.0 0.8 98.7 96.5
Kent 1.1 3.1 0.2 1.3 1.3 1.6 0.3 0.9 97.1 93.1
Lancashire 2.2 7.4 0.1 0.4 1.6 1.1 0.1 0.7 95.9 90.4
Leicestershire 4.7 15.3 0.9 2.4 2.0 2.0 0.1 1.9 92.3 78.4
Lincolnshire 0.5 0.8 0.5 0.4 0.8 0.9 0.0 0.4 98.2 97.6
London, City of 2.3 9.2 1.6 2.6 2.1 3.9 0.3 5.7 93.7 78.6
Merseyside 0.3 1.4 0.6 1.1 2.0 1.5 0.5 1.6 96.6 94.5
Metropolitan Police 4.8 17.0 3.1 13.3 2.9 5.0 1.9 5.0 87.4 59.8
Norfolk 0.2 1.1 0.5 0.5 0.9 1.2 0.2 0.6 98.2 96.5
North Wales 0.1 0.9 0.1 0.2 0.5 0.7 0.1 0.6 99.2 97.5
North Yorkshire 0.3 1.2 0.0 0.5 0.9 0.9 0.0 0.8 98.8 96.6
Northamptonshire 1.0 3.3 1.3 2.4 1.2 2.0 0.1 0.8 96.4 91.5
Northumbria 0.4 2.7 0.2 0.6 1.0 0.9 0.1 1.3 98.3 94.6
Nottinghamshire 2.0 4.4 0.9 2.5 1.3 2.8 0.2 1.4 95.6 88.8
South Wales 0.5 2.8 0.2 1.0 1.1 1.4 0.2 1.5 98.1 93.4
South Yorkshire 1.8 4.1 0.6 1.9 1.0 1.5 0.1 1.8 96.5 90.6
Staffordshire 0.6 3.2 0.4 0.8 0.8 1.3 0.0 0.7 98.2 94.1
Suffolk 0.2 1.5 0.3 0.9 1.8 1.7 0.1 0.6 97.6 95.2
Surrey 1.2 4.8 0.5 1.1 1.8 2.1 0.5 1.7 96.0 90.4
Sussex 0.3 2.5 0.2 0.9 1.0 1.9 0.5 1.0 98.1 93.7
Thames Valley 1.7 8.5 0.8 3.0 2.2 2.5 0.4 1.4 95.0 84.6
Warwickshire 3.5 4.2 0.1 0.8 0.7 1.5 0.5 0.9 95.2 92.7
West Mercia 0.8 1.8 0.3 0.4 0.9 1.1 0.3 0.5 97.7 96.2
West Midlands 5.4 18.0 1.5 6.0 2.0 3.5 0.2 2.3 91.0 70.1
West Yorkshire 2.9 12.6 0.7 2.1 1.2 2.2 0.4 1.4 94.8 81.8
Wiltshire 0.8 2.6 0.4 0.9 0.3 1.4 0.1 0.6 98.4 94.5

Download table data for ‘Police workforce by ethnicity and area’ (CSV) Source data for ‘Police workforce by ethnicity and area’ (CSV)

Summary

This data shows that:

  • of the 43 police forces, the Metropolitan police in London had the highest percentage of police officers from the Asian, Black, Mixed and Other ethnic groups combined – 12.6% in total

  • the number of police officers from these ethnic groups in London reflects the city’s population as a whole – 40.2% of people in London come from Asian, Black, Mixed and Other ethnic groups, the largest percentage for any area of England and Wales

  • in the West Midlands, 9.0% of police officers came from the Asian, Black, Mixed and Other ethnic groups combined, while 29.9% of the overall population in the region came from the same groups

  • in Leicestershire, 7.7% of police officers came from the Asian, Black, Mixed and Other ethnic groups combined, while 21.6% of the overall population in the region came from the same groups

  • police forces in Cheshire, North Wales and Dyfed-Powys had the smallest percentage of officers from an Asian, Black, Mixed or Other background (0.8% in all three areas), but this percentage is broadly in line with figures for the overall population of these ethnic groups in these areas

4. Police workforce by ethnicity and rank

Percentage and number of officers by ethnicity and rank
Asian Black Mixed White Other
[None] Asian % Asian Officers Black % Black Officers Mixed % Mixed Officers White % White Officers Other % Other Officers
Constable 2.6 2,437 1.3 1,201 1.9 1,764 93.6 88,568 0.7 701
Sergeant 1.7 320 0.9 161 1.2 231 95.7 17,741 0.4 81
Inspector 1.6 87 0.8 47 1.1 64 96.1 5,385 0.4 23
Chief Inspector 0.9 14 0.7 11 1.4 22 96.9 1,516 0.1 1
Superintendent 2.0 16 0.9 7 1.5 12 95.4 752 0.1 1
Chief Superintendent 1.9 6 1.6 5 0.9 3 95.3 302 0.3 1
Chief Officer 0.6 1 0.6 1 0.0 0 98.9 172 0.0 0

Download table data for ‘Police workforce by ethnicity and rank’ (CSV) Source data for ‘Police workforce by ethnicity and rank’ (CSV)

Summary

This data shows that:

  • there was a lower percentage of officers from the combined Asian, Black, Mixed and Other ethnic groups in senior ranks (3.6%) than in the constable rank (6.4%)

5. Police workforce by ethnicity and type of police work

Percentage and number of officers by ethnicity and type of police work
Asian Black Mixed Other White
Role Asian % Asian Number of officers Black % Black Number of officers Mixed % Mixed Number of officers Other % Other Number of officers White % White Number of officers
Community Support Officer 4.1 446 2.8 306 1.5 159 1.1 115 90.5 9,722
Designated Officer 2.6 102 2.9 113 1.4 56 0.6 25 92.4 3,628
Police Officer 2.4 2,881 1.2 1,433 1.7 2,096 0.7 808 94.1 114,437
Police Staff 3.1 1,833 2.4 1,423 1.0 572 0.7 400 92.9 54,931
Special Constable 6.3 932 1.9 275 2.1 317 1.3 185 88.4 13,075
Traffic Warden 0.0 0 0.0 0 0.0 0 0.0 0 100.0 13

Download table data for ‘Police workforce by ethnicity and type of police work’ (CSV) Source data for ‘Police workforce by ethnicity and type of police work’ (CSV)

Summary

This data shows that:

  • as of March 2016, there were fewer people from an Asian, Black, Mixed or Other background working as police officers than in other roles within the police workforce

  • overall, 11.6% of Special Constables came from the Asian, Black, Mixed and Other ethnic groups, compared with 7.1% of police staff and 9.5% of police community support officers

6. Methodology

Data collection from each of the 43 police forces in England and Wales plus British Transport Police.

Quality and methodology information

Further technical information

Data is quality assured by the Home Office and confirmed by police forces before publication.

7. Data sources

Source

Type of data

Administrative data

Type of statistic

National Statistics

Publisher

Home Office

Publication frequency

Yearly

Purpose of data source

Forces keep records of all staff employed by the force on their HR and payroll systems. Ethnicity and gender data are often used by forces as part of their own diversity monitoring schemes.

8. Download the data

police workforce 2010-12 - Spreadsheet (csv) 1 MB

Due to the size of the data, this download has been split into three files This file contains the following: ethnicity, year, rank, police force, FTE, headcount, rate

police workforce 2007-09 - Spreadsheet (csv) 1 MB

Due to the size of the data, this download has been split into three files This file contains the following: ethnicity, year, rank, police force, FTE, headcount, rate

police workforce 2013-16 - Spreadsheet (csv) 2 MB

Due to the size of the data, this download has been split into three files This file contains the following: ethnicity, year, rank, police force, FTE, headcount, rate