Gloucestershire police force has rejected job applications from more than 100 white males in a bid to boost diversity.
Nearly two-thirds of white men who applied to join the constabulary were turned down, whereas every ethnic minority candidate was invited for an assessment.
The force received 301 applications but had just 192 vacancies. Of the 172 white males who applied, 109 were turned down, and just 63 were asked for an assessment. The remaining 129 applicants were from ethnic minorities or female.
Gloucestershire constabulary said it was obliged by law to bring the ethnic breakdown of its officers into line with that of the community they serve.
Just 2.8% of Gloucestershire’s population are from an ethnic minority, according to the 2001 census, compared with an average of 8.7% across the UK.
Only 21 of the force’s 1,313 officers are from ethnic minorities, and one in three are women.
Assistant chief constable Michael Matthews said: “This positive action will undoubtedly mean disappointment for others who fall into the categories we never have difficulty recruiting from.
“However, this is the only realistic way of ensuring we maintain a diverse workforce that reflects the communities we serve.”
Last year, neighbouring force Avon and Somerset Police rejected 186 white males out of nearly 800 applicants.