Just 130 West Yorkshire Police officers are Asian compared to 4,260 white officers, figures have revealed.
The break down of the current West Yorkshire Police ethnicity shows the force is predominantely made up of white police officers - some 4,260 (94.8%) with the remainder from ethnically diverse groups such as Asian 130, 33 Black, 17 Chinese and 55 Mixed race.
And despite 20% of people living in West Yorkshire being from a non-white background - just 5.2% is reflected in officer numbers.
Now to help reflect all communities - West Yorkshire Police is addressing the issues which may be deterring those from applying.
Pc Amjad Ditta, took on the role of Positive Action Co-Ordinator six months ago to help recruit, maintain and promote under-represented groups.
Pc Amjad said: “We want our police service to be diverse and representative of the communities it serves. There is some serious talent out there but I know from my 11 years with the police and speaking to many people from different communities that there are myths and preconceived ideas that are holding people back from even considering applying to join the police.”
Amjad has been using social media channels as well as attending mosques, schools and university career events, to promote the police service as a career.
He added:“I have been inviting whole families to attend recruitment events so they can hear first hand what is involved in becoming a police officers.
“For example religious reasons can be a barrier such as in Muslim cultures where drinking alcohol is not custom, to be a police officer dealing with drunk people.
“Or for those whose relatives have a general lack of trust in the police.
“But it is important our force truely reflects our communities diveristy and they are best placed to know the issues affecting them.”
And the September recruitment drive has already seen a 10% increase in applications from ethnic minorities.
“The recruitment process takes six months so we are yet to see the full impact but the engagement has been far more positive than I initially anticipated.”
And PC Amjad’s personal commitment is to be recognised as he has been nominated for The Asian Fire Service Personal Fair & Diverse Awards and will find out if he is succesful next month.
For more information about Pc Ditta’s role and how to contact him, please visit www.westyorkshire.police.uk/positive-action-co-ordinator.