‘It’s Not OK that We Look Like We Do’ – Top Cop Says Force Is Too White

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A British police chief has lamented the fact that her leadership team is white, saying it is “not OK that we look like we do”.

“If we look at the Chief Officer group of this constabulary, we are half female and have all sorts of other diverse characteristics – but we are all white,” said Chief Constable Olivia Pinkney.

“I’m really aware of that and so I’m doing what I can to mitigate in the short term and I have a very detailed plan, which also national policing has as well, to try and shift that balance,” she vowed.

“It’s not OK that we look like we do across UK policing and I know my colleagues and I are all determined to shift that.”

Chief Constable Pinkney’s remarks followed the dismissal of several officers from the Serious Organised Crime Unit on the force for making politically incorrect comments at work.

Detective Sergeant Oliver Lage, Detective Sergeant Gregory Willcox, PC James Oldfield were all sacked, while Detective Inspector Tim Ireson and PC Craig Bannerman were told they would have been if they had not already left the force.

Trainee Detective Constable Andrew Ferguson was put on a final written warning.

The “toxic” group were bugged after a complaint, and found to have, among other things, joked about killing Albanians with a “nerve agent”, sang ‘Buffalo Soldier’ by Bob Marley to black colleague PC Solomon Koranteng, and to have referred the part of the office PC Koranteng shared with another black officer as “African corner”.

“During the hearing, the Panel heard a catalogue of sexist, racist, homophobic and ableist language and commentary that has rightly shocked us all and understandably left people with many questions about how this has been allowed to happen,” Chief Constable Pinkney said after a tribunal decided the men’s fate.

“Policing has never before been under so much appropriate scrutiny to ensure an inclusive environment for all our officers and staff to flourish and bring their best,” she added.

“There is no place in my force, or in policing more widely, for those who do not live up to this standard. These behaviours fell far short of those expected by me.”

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