Assistant PCCs host PAPA meeting

As part of the push for West Midlands Police to reflect the communities it serves, Assistant Police and Crime Commissioners Ashley Bertie and Judy Foster hosted the quarterly meeting of the Positive Action Practitioner Alliance (PAPA).

The event focused on leadership, culture, recruitment, retention and progression of BME officers and staff.

PAPA supports the National Police Chiefs' Council's strategy on diversity and inclusion, working to ensure all police forces look more like the communities they serve and protect.

Guest speakers at the quarterly meeting included Sharon Harding and Janine Wratten from the College of Policing discussing direct entry, Emily Milne from Police Now covering positive action and Inspector Belinda Glover from West Midlands Police discussing fast-track learning.

West Midlands Police is in the process of recruiting 800 new officers following a PCC pledge. More than 3,200 people applied, of which more than 1,000 (33 per cent) were from BME communities - higher than the general West Midlands BME population percentage of 30.

Assistant PCC Ashley Bertie said: "It is vital that we have a police force that reflects the communities it serves - and West Midlands Police is leading the way on this nationally, with our recent recruitment drive praised by the Home Secretary.

"It was an hour to host the quarterly meeting of PAPA, which does excellent work in ensuring police forces up and down the country are more diverse and inclusive."