More than half of new police officer recruits in North Yorkshire last year were women

More than half of new police officer recruits in North Yorkshire last year were women, figures reveal, as male domination in the ranks continues to subside.

Monday, 10th May 2021, 12:05 pm
Updated Monday, 10th May 2021, 12:08 pm

While the Government says there is more work to be done to make forces representative, campaigners say a rise in female officers will help build public confidence in policing.

Home Office data shows North Yorkshire Police took on 88 new officers in 2020-21, including 50 who were women.

The increase in female recruits will go some way toward balancing the gender ranks among the force's police officers.

More than half of new police officer recruits in North Yorkshire last year were women

Separate Home Office figures show 36% of officers in North Yorkshire were women in March last year, up from 32% four years before.

Across the 43 police forces in England and Wales that proportion rose to 32% last year from 30% in 2016.

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A spokesperson said: "It is excellent that more women are deciding to go into this inspiring career, and that more women are also represented at senior roles in police forces.

“We are aware, however, there is more work to be done which is why the Government continues to work closely with police forces to ensure their workforces are representative, in terms of gender, ethnicity and socio-economic backgrounds.”

Women's Aid, a charity supporting female victims of violence, said it was pleased with the rise in female officer numbers, adding the death of Sarah Everard and subsequent charging of a serving male police officer with her murder had damaged confidence in policing.

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She added: "After such a tragic event [the death of Sarah Everard], public confidence in policing drops and so the increase in female officers is one way to get that confidence back.

"The power of the police depends on public approval for its existence, actions and behaviour. If police forces are not representative, public approval will lesson."

Martin Hewitt, chairman of the National Police Chiefs' Council, also welcomed the influx of new policing recruits.

But he added: "There is much more to do to build a workforce that is truly representative of the communities we serve."

The new recruits were hired as part of a Government commitment to add 20,000 officers to forces in England and Wales by March 2023.

It achieved the first phase target of 6,000 additional police officers by March this year.

Allowing for leavers, forces added an extra 8,771 officers to their ranks through the programme, which started in October 2019, including 58 at North Yorkshire Police.

The force, which now has 1,508 police officers, has been set the target of recruiting an additional 58 by the end of March next year.