REVEALED: Essex Police call white people 'non-protected group' in leaked diversity documents

Essex Police diversity

The Essex Police diversity document refers to 'non-protected' and 'protected' groups

GB News
Charlie Peters

By Charlie Peters

Published: 23/05/2024

- 13:33

Updated: 23/05/2024

- 14:33

Essex Police diversity strategy demands tighter gap in stop and search between ‘protected and non-protected groups’

Essex Police has come under fire for describing white people as a “non-protected group” in its diversity memos, GB News can reveal.

In documents seen by this broadcaster, the force has set a goal to “narrow the disparity” in stop and search and other police actions between “protected and non-protected groups.”

The force’s monitoring of stop and search in diversity documents lists two groups, “white” and “Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic.”

The Equality Act lists nine protected characteristics, including age, sex and race.

No other police force refers to “non-protected groups” in its publications.

Essex Police did not explain its use of “non-protected groups” nor dispute that it refers to white people.

A former police officer said that it was “appalling” to see “the woke wing of a police force promoting the idea of ‘protected groups’ and ‘non-protected groups’.”

In a statement, a police spokesperson said: “If you commit a crime you can expect to be arrested, whoever you are. If you need help you can expect to get it, whoever you are.”

Essex police diversity

One page from the documents on protected and unprotected groups

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The controversial reference to “non-protected groups” is found in the force’s Diversity, Equality and Inclusion Strategy for 2020-2025.

Introducing the strategy, Chief Constable B. J. Harrington said: “Our diversity is everything.”

The senior officer said: “We will celebrate our diversity and ensure established and newer communities interact and grow safely together with mutual understanding, respect and dignity for all.”

He added: “Any form of inequality or disproportionality can harm community cohesion. We commit to resolving these inequalities. Sometimes our operations may involve stopping ten people to find one weapon and we sincerely apologise for the inconvenience this causes.”

Mr Harrington also lamented “the disparity in the number of young black men who enter the criminal justice system” and made reference to the death of George Floyd in the US.

The controversial diversity document, which promotes claims on some contested beliefs, was steered by Essex Police’s Diversity and Inclusion team.

At the time, the team’s manager was Vernal Scott, who wrote that the strategy’s “destiny of life enhancing outcomes for everybody will be well worth the inevitable occasional bump in the road.”

Mr Scott has since left the force, joining Oxford University as head of its Equality & Diversity Unit in October 2023.

GB News

Increasing diversity is a priority for the Force

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The diversity department leader has faced criticism in his new role after he celebrated an attempt to shut down a conservative conference in Brussels last month.

A regional mayor ordered Belgian police to shut down the National Conservatism conference, with Suella Braverman and Nigel Farage set to speak.

“I applaud the mayor and police of Brussels for their decision to close down this conference,” Mr Scott wrote on X, formerly Twitter.

He has since deleted the post.

Sir Noel Malcolm, a senior research fellow at All Souls, told the Telegraph: “It’s very troubling to think that someone appointed to promote ‘diversity’ has such a narrow concept of what diversity is.”
The University of Oxford said its diversity head’s comments “do not represent the views of the university.”

Rory Geoghegan, founder of the Public Safety Foundation, told GB News: “The vast majority of police officers and staff come to work to help protect us all, so to see the woke wing of a police force promoting the idea of ‘protected groups’ and ‘non-protected groups’ is nothing short of appalling.

“It betrays the men and women on the frontline who bravely and routinely risk their lives and their livelihoods for people, regardless of their skin colour, sex, or any other attribute.”

Mr Geoghegan, a former police officer, added: “It also feeds the growing frustration and concern that pockets of policing are in the grip of activists who are wilfully or ignorantly promoting divisive ideologies and politics.

“A layperson reading and reviewing these materials would be left concluding or wondering if white people are ‘non-protected’ – a wholly outrageous idea to anyone of a reasonable nature, yet wholly acceptable to extremists and activists who are signed up to divisive racist ideologies.”

\u200bRory Geoghegan

Rory Geoghegan, founder of the Public Safety Foundation has condemned the use of the phrase non-protected groups

GB News

He also took aim at the force’s aims to limit disparities in stop and search based on race.

“The supposedly ‘clear’ headline objective of narrowing disparities in stop and search, arrests and use of force is also ill-considered and misleading,” said Mr Geoghegan.

“It assumes or implies that the largest component of any disparity is discrimination, denying the reality that the vast majority of police officers are simply responding to situations and people that they are called upon by the public and duty bound to deal with.”

An Essex police spokesperson said: “We police without fear or favour and crime is down in Essex, with 12,000 fewer offences in the last 12 months.

“If you commit a crime you can expect to be arrested, whoever you are.

“If you need help you can expect to get it, whoever you are.

“It’s why around 75 percent of people in Essex think we do a good or excellent job.”

Essex Police has reduced knife-enabled crime over the last year.

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