Retention of Black and Minority Ethnic and Female Police Officers

By 2009, the police service had worked hard to increase the recruitment of Black and minority ethnic (BME) and female officers, and aimed to maximise the retention of such officers. Recent evidence indicated, however, that the rates of voluntary resignation for female and BME officers were significantly higher. The Home Office commissioned IES to carry out a research project to provide more information on how the retention of female and BME officers could be increased in the police service in England and Wales. Among the issues that the research was expected to address were why female and BME officers leave the force, particularly in the first five years of service; and what police forces were doing to improve their retention. More widely, the research was expected to also provide in-depth information on why officers have left the force, and thereby contribute to the development of interventions that could help improve retention in the future.