Home Office to water down ethnic targets for police

The Home Office is considering making ethnic minority police targets more achievable by only applying them to new recruits rather than entire forces.

The proposal is from the Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo) which says many forces in England and Wales will not meet current targets.

After the MacPherson report into the murder of Stephen Lawrence, police forces were set targets to employ the same proportion of ethnic minority officers as in their communities by 2009.

Acpo has suggested to the Home Office that the targets should be based on the number of new recruits, rather than their overall ethnic minority profile.

Under Acpo’s proposals, each year forces in England and Wales would be required to take on double the proportion of ethnic minorities in their local working population.

Meanwhile, the Commission for Racial Equality  is set to publish a report on reducing police racism. Its investigation focused specifically on employment issues, rather than service delivery.

David Calvert-Smith, who headed the inquiry, said the way in which managers were selected and trained had been addressed, with recommendations for promotions to be prompted by motivational skills, rather than “sheer operational excellence”.

But he told BBC Radio 4’s Today: “Unfortunately we will never get rid or recruits who want to join the service in order to bully people and a number of those who want to bully black people.”

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