Wiltshire’s police commissioner said he would be “very foolish” to say there was no racial prejudice in the force.

Speaking on the day Wiltshire Police will hold an online conference for Black History Month, police and crime commissioner Angus Macpherson said the organisation had a more diverse workforce but he was “absolutely sure” the force would still not fully reflect the county by the time the next census was held next year.

Asked by BBC Wiltshire on Tuesday whether there was any racial prejudice on the force, Mr Macpherson said: “I’d be very foolish to say there are none. That would be a very foolish thing to say.

“What I would say is that we try very hard, the chief constable’s tried very hard to make sure that those are dealt with and people have the opportunity to talk through these things.

“I think we challenge it where we find it in the organisation and that’s as much as we can do as long as we do it consistently and we do it the whole time.”

Swindon Advertiser:

Angus Macpherson, pictured in 2018 Picture: CALYX

Government figures showed that fewer than two per cent of Wiltshire officers were from black, Asian or ethnic minority backgrounds in March 2020. According to the 2011 census, more than five per cent of the Wiltshire population were from BAME backgrounds.

Mr Macphersonsaid: “As we move forward and certainly towards the next census, which is I think published in 2021 I am absolutely sure that whatever we have achieved in Wiltshire Police will not be enough to ensure that the police in Wiltshire will reflect the public that they are here to police.

“The whole nature of policing in this country is that we must have the willing cooperation of the public and we only get that if the police are the public and the public are the police. The police being only members of the public that are paid to give their full time attention to it.”