Why Gender Equality in Policing is Important for Achieving United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 5 and 16


United Nations (UN) sustainable development goal 5 calls for the elimination of violence, and goal 16 calls for strong and stable judicial institutions (United Nations 2016). The composition and culture of a nation’s police force play an essential role in its ability to achieve these goals. Employing a diverse workforce, particularly in terms of female representation in all ranks within the policing command structure, is a vital determinant for setting a police force’s culture. However, many police forces remain as traditional, male-dominant hierarchical institutions (Rabe-Hemp 2018). In England and Wales, although the proportion of female police officers has reached 30.4 per cent of the police force, the progression of women to the highest police ranks has declined (Home Office 2019).

This article considers the influence that female representation can have within police forces on the effective management of domestic and sexually violent crimes that disproportionately affect women. It will highlight the barriers to female recruitment and their progression, as well as suggest a series of recommendations to improve opportunities for women in policing. In doing so, the article will consequently suggest improvements to women’s access to justice, thereby providing a platform for achieving these UN goals.

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Published: 2020-02-25
Pages:80 to 85
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How to Cite
Sebire, J. (2020) “Why Gender Equality in Policing is Important for Achieving United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 5 and 16”, International Journal for Crime, Justice and Social Democracy, 9(1), pp. 80-85. doi: 10.5204/ijcjsd.v9i1.1452.

Author Biography

Bedfordshire Police
 United Kingdom

Assistant Chief Constable Jacqueline Sebire joined Bedfordshire Police in February 2016 prior to this appointment the majority of her service was as a detective in homicide and serious crime investigations in the Metropolitan Police. She was the senior investigating officer for a number for a number of high profile cases including the ‘Spy in the bag’ case and the conviction of Britain’s youngest hit man. She has also served in the London Boroughs of Newham, Hackney and, prior to transferring to Bedfordshire, was the Temporary Borough Commander for Waltham Forest.

Jacqueline has a PhD in Forensic Psychology and in January 2016 was appointed a Visiting Scholar at the University of Cambridge. She has published a number of articles in relation to domestic abuse and risk management and lectured nationally and internationally regarding her research. She is a member of the European Union Cooperation in Science and Technology Working Group on Femicide prevention. She has also advised the Police Service of Trinidad and Tobago on best practice in Homicide Investigation. In March 2019 was invited to speak at the United Nations, New York, Commission on the Status of Women regarding community cohesion and women’s access to justice.

Jacqueline is the National Police Chief’s Council Serious Violence Co-ordinator and has worked extensively with the Government regarding legislation change, funding and multiagency prevention strategies. Jacqueline as extensive media experience. She has been a co-host of the TV series “Born to Kill; A Class Of Their Own” and is the Bedfordshire Police lead for Garden Productions 24 hours in Police Custody Series.