The lack of minority ethnic officers in Greater Manchester Police has prompted Chief Constable Sir Peter Fahy to suggest radical steps need to be taken to improve diversity.
The alarming figures, released by the Home Office, reveal that the percentage of ethnic minority officers stands at 2.8% within the Association of Chief Police Officers.
And Sir Peter Fahy is concerned that the budget cuts, which will see the GMP lose 300 officers this year and a further 300 next year, will only make this worse.
“This is not about targets or political correctness,” he said. “It is about operational need.”
The data also reveals that only 3.2% of Chief Superintendents are from a minority ethnic group, with Superintendents at 3.9%, Chief Inspectors at 3.7%, Inspectors at 3.4%, Sergeants 3.6%, and Constables at 5.6%.
Sir Peter added: “Policing is unique. We need to be legitimate within the community because of the exercise of power.
“Often we are out there resolving disputes between communities and we need officers that understand different communities and different backgrounds.
“We need to be a more diverse police service. The operational need is great.”
Sir Hugh Orde, president of the Association of Chief Police Officers, said: “There is a real issue in senior ranks that we are not representative of the population we are policing.
“There should be a real, constructive conversation about how we move forward because this is something that has been difficult for years.”