More female police officers recruited in South Yorkshire
More women are being recruited as police officers in South Yorkshire, figures reveal, as male domination in the ranks continues to subside.
While the Government says there is more work to be done to make forces representative, campaigners say a rise in female officers will help lead to public confidence in policing.
Home Office data shows South Yorkshire Police took on 423 new officers in 2020-21, including 192 who were women (45 per cent).
The female recruits will go a little way toward balancing the gender ranks among the force's police officers.
Separate Home Office figures show 34 per cent of officers in South Yorkshire were women in March last year, up from 31 per cent four years before.
Across the 43 police forces in England and Wales that proportion rose to 32 per cent last year from 30 per cent in 2016.
The Home Office said it had used targeted advertising and provided support to candidates in a bid to attract more women for police officer roles.
A spokesperson said: "It is excellent that more women are deciding to go into this inspiring career, and that more women are also represented at senior roles in police forces.
“We are aware, however, there is more work to be done which is why the Government continues to work closely with police forces to ensure their workforces are representative, in terms of gender, ethnicity and socio-economic backgrounds.”
Women's Aid, a charity supporting female victims of violence, said it was pleased with the rise in female officer numbers, adding the death of Sarah Everard and subsequent charging of a serving male police officer with her murder had damaged confidence in policing.
Farah Nazeer, chief executive, said: "Women make up half the population and therefore it is good to see the police working towards this level of representation."
The new recruits were hired as part of a Government commitment to add 20,000 officers to forces by March 2023.
Allowing for leavers, forces added an extra 8,771 officers to their ranks through the programme, which started in October 2019, including 269 at South Yorkshire Police.
The force, which now has 2,804 police officers, has been set the target of recruiting an additional 149 by the end of March next year.