Force bids to attract more women and ethnic groups

Warwickshire Police Force has launched a recruitment drive aimed at
increasing its representation of ethnic minorities and women in the force.

The six-week recruitment campaign, which began in June, aims to attract 102 police
officers by the end of March 2002, compared with 92 last year.

The aim of the recruitment drive is to boost representation of ethnic
minorities and women in the force, explained Julie Middleton, the force’s
recruitment manager.

Warwickshire Police has established community focus groups consisting of
students and older people from ethnic minorities, to give the force a better
understanding for community concerns, explained Middleton.

Warwickshire Police has also appointed a minority ethnic community liaison
officer to explain the diversity of roles available to the community.

Ethnic minorities account for 2.8 per cent of the force, which Warwickshire
Police plans to raise to 3.5 per cent by 2004. Women are also severely
under-represented, accounting for 16 per cent of police officers, compared to
the national average of 25 per cent.

Middleton said, "So far, we have received 30 applications from ethnic
minorities and 84 applications from women. The aim of this recruitment drive is
to get Warwickshire Police to be a preferred employer for these groups."

Warwickshire Police has appointed a female police officer to address the
shortage of women in the force, by offering advice and coaching to female

The force is also trying to tackle another barrier facing female recruits –
a high number of women failing the fitness test. Middleton said, "We have
decided to run coaching sessions to help women get up to the right level of

By Karen Higginbottom

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