Police forces in England and Wales are failing to retain their female and ethnic minority officers, who are leaving in record numbers, according to Home Office statistics.
Female and ethnic minority trainee officers are twice as likely to resign as their white and male colleagues, according to the figures obtained by The Times.
The police service had 4,629 ethnic minority officers in 2004, an 18% increase on 2003. However, 17.8% of black and Asian recruits in 2004 resigned or were dismissed within six months of starting their jobs, compared with 7.7% of white officers.
Last year 12.6% of ethnic minority recruits dropped out within six months, compared with 7.6% of white officers. The number of female recruits leaving within six months was almost double that of males at 6.8%.
Keith Jarrett, president of the Black Police Association, told The Times: “There is still discrimination in forces. In society you do have bigotry and the police service is not drawn from a vacuum.
“The service has spent time and resources on boosting recruitment but hasn’t looked at retention and progression strategies.”