Your say / St Pauls

‘St Paul’s riots changed policing forever’

By andy marsh, Wednesday Apr 1, 2020

The riots that took place in St Paul’s in 1980 undoubtedly changed policing forever. Whilst we recognise that there is still more work to be done, there has been significant progress over the past 40 years.

We’re proud to have 87 police officers, 19 PCSOs, and 84 staff from BAME backgrounds working for the force but recognise that this only represents 3.28 per cent of our organisation. This needs to improve and we are committed to making this happen.

We want to increase inclusion and diversity in our force so that we better represent our communities on the ground. In September 2019, we launched a two-year pilot Diverse Workforce Outreach Programme.

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We hope this pilot will act as a catalyst for lasting, positive changes to our recruitment process, progression, retention and will help us to improve inclusion and diversity.

Working alongside our neighbourhood teams, the outreach workers are positively engaged with the diverse communities of Bristol and are also helping us to shape and promote our employment offering so that we see a substantial uplift in the diversity of applicants.

Grosvenor Road 40 years on from the riots – photo by Ellie Pipe

By listening and acting on feedback, challenging mindsets, changing perceptions and building trust among under-represented communities, we hope to establish strong relationships for the future.

Fostering an environment for change will involve commitment and willingness from both the police and the communities we serve.

We would encourage anyone who is interested in finding out more about working for the police, to contact the outreach workers who will be happy to offer advice and guidance on the recruitment process.

You can get in touch by emailing:

Andy Marsh – photo courtesy of Avon and Somerset Police

Andy Marsh is the chief constable of Avon and Somerset Police 

Main photo (c) David Kirkpatrick, courtesy of M Shed

Read more: Remembering the St Paul’s riots


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