Ethnic minority police recruits more likely to drop out

Ethnic minority police recruits are twice as likely as white recruits to drop out in their first six months of service, an official inquiry has found.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission’s (EHRC) report into racism in the police force highlighted concern over the retention of ethnic minority staff.

It comes a decade after the Macpherson Inquiry into the death of Stephen Lawrence, which found ‘institutional racism’ within the police force.

The EHRC’s report, Police and Racism: What has been achieved 10 years after the Stephen Lawrence inquiry report?, found encouraging progress.

It said work on recruitment, training and employment of ethnic minority staff was encouraging in many forces.

However, the report also highlighted a series of concerns, including the high dropout rate of ethnic minority candidates.

John Wadham, group director, legal, at the EHRC, said: “When Stephen Lawrence was murdered by a racist gang of young white men, the police behaved as if he was the criminal rather than the victim.

“Ten years on from the inquiry into the handling of his death, we welcome the significant improvements the police have made in the way they deal with race.

“However there are still worrying areas which the police need to address – such as changing the ‘canteen culture’ and properly monitoring stop and search and the DNA database – if they are to continue to make improvements.”

Many ethnic minority officers believe specialist police squads are dominated by white, middle-aged men, old fashioned work practices, and a “canteen” culture of playing hard, working hard and drinking, according to the report.

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