Published: 06:00, 29 July 2021
| Updated: 15:22, 29 July 2021
Only 3% of staff at Kent Police are from black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds, figures from the Home Office reveal.
As well as this, only 4% of constables are BAME, that's 82 compared to 1,908 white officers.
Cllr Lola Oyewusi says Kent Police needs to do more.
The latest complete population figures taken from the 2011 census shows this is less than half the 6.9% of Kent and Medway's population which is BAME.
Recent Home Office data shows a breakdown of Kent Police's workforce for 2019/2020.
It revealed last year there were just two people from BAME backgrounds in high ranking positions.
There was just one Superintendent and one Chief Inspector, and none held Chief Supts or Chief Officer positions.
The force says this has now increased.
The numbers also show imbalances when it comes to gender.
"Kent Police does not reflect the community it serves and it's like it doesn't matter to them that's why there's no sensitivity towards issues affecting women and people from ethnic minorities."
Although the ratio of men and women across the workforce is fairly even.
However there are three times more male police sergeants than female, almost twice as many male constables than female, and four times more male special constables than female.
While Kent Police is the only force in England to have been graded as outstanding for the way it treats people by the Independent Policing Inspectorate over the past four years, the force admits it still has progress to make and is committed to looking for ways to improve diversity.
Having seen the figures, Lola Oyewusi, who was the first black woman to be selected as a candidate for Police Crime Commissioner, said she is not surprised by the findings.
"These are some of the key issues I have raised during the campaign and was planning to change if I got elected," she said.
"Kent Police does not reflect the community it serves and it's like it doesn't matter to them that's why there's no sensitivity towards issues affecting women and people from ethnic minorities.
"Kent is different now, it's more diverse than it was when I first moved here 20 years ago and we need to see that diversity reflected in all of the services that are being provided, especially within the police force.
"People from our community need to be able to trust the police more but when you don't see people that look like you, that you can feel confident enough to actually talk to, then it's not going to happen.
"The current PCC and the chief constable should be held to account as to why the numbers are low.
"I'm happy to continue to support Kent Police in overcoming these challenges."
"We recognise there is more work to do and we will be building on our recent successes.."
Richard Leicester, director of human resources for Kent Police, said: "Kent Police is committed to building an inclusive and diverse organisation and is the only force in the country to have been graded as outstanding for the way it treats people by the independent policing inspectorate for the last four reports.
"We have a clear plan to develop and support our talented workforce and this includes our #Morethanthebadge recruitment campaign and the recent launch of our Diversity and Inclusion Academy.
"As a result of these initiatives, the number of female officers, and those from ethnic minority backgrounds, is at the highest proportion it has been in the last 12 years.
"This is a positive step and will only continue to improve because the proportion of female and ethnic minority recruits increased substantially during the last financial year.
"Women, and officers from ethnic minority groups, have also achieved success at senior levels contributing to the strategic direction of the force.
"Our figures for the year ending March 31, 2021 show 28 females working within the position of Chief Inspector or above, and six officers from an ethnic minority background occupying these ranks. Of these six, three are female and three are male.
"These positions include leading our Central Operations Directorate, overseeing our response to the Coronavirus pandemic, serving as district commanders, serving as the heads of our crime investigation departments and being the head of our Professional Standards Department.
"We recognise there is more work to do and we will be building on our recent successes. We remain open to feedback not just from our officers, staff and volunteers, but also the communities we serve."