GWENT Police employs no senior black or ethnic minority (BME) officers, new figures reveal.

Home Office data shows that in March this year, there were no BME police officers employed by the force, who were of the rank of chief inspector or higher. The highest ranking BME officer was a sergeant.

In total Gwent Police employs the equivalent of 28 full time BME officers – 25 men and three women, Ralph Blackburn, data reporter writes.

They make up 2.2 percent of the total number of police officers.

BME people make up 3.9 percent of Gwent’s total population, which is slightly more than the proportion of BME officers.

The Lammy Review, an investigation by MP David Lammy into the treatment of BME people in the criminal justice system, found that black and ethnic minority people often do not like engaging with the police as they do not feel represented.

The review says that increasing the visibility of BME people within policing is fundamental to ensuring justice

Gwent police clarified that they employed 29 BME officers as of the end of March 2018, not the 28 that was reported in the data.

A spokeswoman for Gwent Police said: “We aim to attract, recruit and retain police officers from a broad range of communities, and offer promotion possibilities to all officers in Gwent who show high potential.

“As part of our current recruitment activities, we have been working closely with our community networks to attract applications from communities who may not traditionally apply. We have a range of initiatives in place to support candidates from underrepresented groups through the recruitment process.

“Policing is dependent on building public trust and confidence, and ensuring our workforce is representative of the communities we serve is integral to this. This is a gradual, often complex process which is impacted by a range of factors.

“We are pleased that we have increased our BAME representation over the last few years, with our officer intakes now averaging around 5 percent BAME new starters.”

Across England and Wales, police forces have a disproportionate number of white officers.

More diverse parts of the country have fewer BME officers compared with the size of the black and ethnic minority population.

The Home Office data shows that out of Gwent Police’s full time BME officers, 11 are mixed race. There are six black officers and nine are Asian. The rest are from other ethnic minorities.

The figures show that the force is getting more representative. There were 12 percent more BME officers employed this year, compared with March 2017.