Only 30% of police officers in South Wales are female, a Freedom of Information request has revealed.
In South Wales Police there are 859 female officers out of a total of 2865.
Chief Superintendent Belinda Davies from South Wales Police said “it’s way off where we want to be”.
We know that half of the population in South Wales are female, so we need to represent the communities.”
— Sarah Gough (@sarahgoughy) March 3, 2017
She added: “Just over half the South Wales population is female but less than a third of our police officers are female. The nature of policing has changed considerably over time and the value that women bring to an ever evolving business that requires both a male and female response should not be under-estimated.”
Only 15% of South Wales Police Inspectors are female – making it the least proportional rank in the force.
Just over 20% of women are Sergeants and 32% are Constables.
South Wales Police have a new plan to improve the proportion of women rising the ranks in the force.
The plan itself is not yet in the public domain but Chief Superintendent Davies says “there are three key principles which we’re working on to ensure we employ more females, we retain more females and then we look to make sure there’s progression within the organisation for those females that join us.”
On whether the imbalance affects reporting crimes like sexual assault or rape C/Supt Davies said: “When we’re dealing with victims of crime and they’re in a chaotic state and they’re feeling very vulnerable, the last thing on their minds is whether someone’s male or female.
“They just see us as police officers and they have faith and trust in us.”
According to their website, South Wales Police is the eighth largest force in Wales and England, and deals with around 48% of the total crime in Wales.