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Ethnicity (641A/23)


In relation to the collection of ethnicity data:


  1. How do you teach your officers to collect ethnicity data?
  2. What does this training constitute?
  3. How many training sessions do the officer have in hours?
  4. How frequently are they updated in these matters?
  5. How is the learning assessed?
  6. How do you ensure they have a person’s ethnicity correct?


I am writing to inform you that we have searched our records and there is no specific data held.

There is no specific lesson that is taught in foundation training for student officers.

The topic of ethnicity and the ethnicity that an individual identifies as is a common theme in many areas of training throughout the main foundation course.

Student Officers receive training on Stop and Account and Stop and Search policy and the filling in of the electronic search form.

All custody staff are trained on how to record the ethnicity of an arrested person within the custody database.

Where an officer is required to record such detail about ethnicity, there are drop down boxes for the selection of the ethnicity to be made.  There are two types of ethnicity identification, officer defined and individual defined.

Officer defined: This is where the officer records the ethnicity because the subject looks like that particular ethnic group and the individual has not told them otherwise. For example, in custody, a person who is clearly of Chinese ethnicity, state that they identify as black Caribbean.  The officer would record Chinese and the self-defined ethnicity by the individual would be recorded as per their choice.

Individual defined: The officer asks the individual to choose their ethnicity from a list. These lists can vary dependent on the task / paperwork involved.

These lists are also dynamic and change with time as more groups are added / amended as per national guidelines.


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