In June 2005 the Police Service of Northern Ireland Ethnic Minority Police Association (EMPA) was formed. The EMPA focuses on equality and anti-discrimination issues within the Police Service while working to achieve a more reflective and inclusive workforce.

The Association also strives to continually improve the existing good relationships between the Police Service and culturally diverse minority ethnic communities which are increasing rapidly in Northern Ireland. 

Sergeant Richard Williams, EMPA Committee member, explained: “EMPA’s aim is to provide a support network and discussion forum for ethnic minority staff within the Police Service of Northern Ireland and generally represent the views of all members of the EMPA and wider BAME Community, working towards improving recruitment, retention, progression and the lateral career development of police officers and police staff members within the Service.

“We also work with other staff associations, representative groups and individuals on a local and national basis in furtherance of the EMPA aims and objectives, consistent with service strategies pertaining to BAME communities within Northern Ireland.

“We meet with representatives of voluntary organisations, local government departments, statutory and non-statutory authorities and individuals, pursuant to BAME concerns throughout Northern Ireland such as hate crime and associated legislation and we continue to arrange and/or facilitate conferences, exhibitions, meetings, lectures, classes, seminars and training courses for the benefit of both members of the EMPA and the wider organisation.”

EMPA have a number of active work streams which include: community engagement, mentoring, organisational support, recruitment and training and reflective workforce and diversity management.