Discriminating forces at work across the UK

Gloucestershire Police Force has become the latest public sector authority to reject job applications from white males in a bid to boost diversity.

Nearly two-thirds of white men who applied to join the constabulary in the latest recruitment drive were turned down, whereas every ethnic minority candidate was invited for an assessment.

The move follows a similar diversity drive at the neighbouring Avon and Somerset Police, which rejected 186 white males out of nearly 800 applicants last year.

Gloucestershire said it was obliged by law to bring the ethnic breakdown of its officers into line with that of the community they serve.

But under the Race Relations Act, shortlisting or appointing on racial grounds is unlawful. A spokesman for the Commission for Racial Equality (CRE), which is investigating Avon and Somerset Police, said: “Positive discrimination is unlawful in the UK and the CRE does not support it. However, initiatives that seek to address under-representation of ethnic minorities in certain sectors are welcomed.”

The CRE was unable to confirm if it would be investigating Gloucestershire for breaking the law, although the Equal Opportunities Commission said it was making preliminary enquiries into the force’s recruitment policy.

To read the views of the Met’s HR chief, Martin Tiplady, click here.

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