Black people in Wiltshire are five times more likely to be arrested than white people, new figures show.

Home Office figures show 202 arrests of black people were made in Wiltshire in 2020-21.

This equated to an estimated 33.2 arrests per 1,000 black people in the area, based on population figures from the 2011 census.

In contrast, there were just 6.6 arrests per 1,000 white people, meaning a black person was five times more likely to be arrested.

Across England and Wales, black people were 3.3 times more likely to be arrested than white people in 2020-21.

Chief Constable of Wiltshire Police Kier Pritchard said he believes the force is "some way off having the full trust of our Black communities" - something he is determined to change.

"We know that there are understandable concerns, both locally and nationally, about police interaction with people from black and minority ethnic backgrounds, and we want to provide reassurance around the work which is currently ongoing to address that", he said. 

"We have an independent Police Powers Scrutiny Panel, which reviews our use of stop and search, use of force and holds the Force to account if and when disproportionality exists, as well as an internal scrutiny panel to oversee such issues.

"As a police force we are committed to improving equality and diversity and in 2019 we established a Diverse Communities Independent Advisory Group, which has more than 30 members."

He also explained how Wiltshire Police is committed to creating a diverse workforce, which accurately reflects the communities of Swindon and Wiltshire that we serve.

He said: "We know how important this is if we are to encourage public trust and confidence in policing, and we have made significant strides to increase representation at all levels in the organisation and we are actively working to not only encourage people from minority groups to join Wiltshire Police, but then develop their career and on merit rise through the ranks once they are within in the organisation". 

Mr Pritchard added the police know there's a lot left to be done, and that they are hoping their targeted recruitment work has ensured they employ more officers and staff from an ethnic minority background.

At the moment, they employ 80 officers and staff from an ethnic minority background, the highest number on record, representing 3.5 per cent of their workforce, and their dedication to workforce diversity has been recognised with a ranking of 36 in the Inclusive Top 50 UK Employers list for 2021/22.