Met turns to religion in latest drive to boost diversity levels

The Metropolitan Police Service is to launch a fresh campaign to convince people that joining the force does not involve compromising their religious beliefs.

Under tough targets set by the Home Office, 7.7% of the 150,000 officers in England and Wales must be from black, minority or ethnic backgrounds by 2009. The Met’s target is 25.9%, to reflect the make-up of the population in its area.

Earlier this year, Martin Tiplady, director of HR at Scotland Yard, said that the Met had not “got a hope in hell of getting to 25%”. The figure currently stands at 7.1%

The ‘Can You Be?’ campaign, the latest attempt to boost this figure, will use advertisements in the ethnic and London press asking potential recruits: ‘Can you be true to your beliefs?’

The ads will show that dress code, leave arrangements, flexible hours and catering within the police service are designed to accommodate all religious beliefs.

The Met is running a ‘Faith recruitment fair’ in London on 7 September, timed to correspond with the new campaign.

Simon Marshall, director of recruitment at the Met, said diversity was the key to understanding the communities it serves.

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