Met drive for more ethnic officers

The
Metropolitan police will continue its drive to recruit more officers from
ethnic backgrounds by visiting some of the capital’s most culturally diverse
areas.

The
Met’s Positive Action Team (PAT) will visit London’s Queens Park tomorrow as
part of a rolling campaign which will see officers visiting two areas each
week.

Inspector
Mark Weaver, head of PAT recruitment told Personnel Today he is hoping to
attract diverse recruits with a more targeted, local approach: “We’re
proactively going out into the community to engage local people and hopefully
breaking down some of the barriers that prevent them from joining the police.”

Plain
clothes PAT officers will be joined by uniformed officers at a recruitment
stand where they will distribute information and postcards as well as chat to
local people about the police.

Weaver
believes the initiative will help build trust in the force and provide a
visible police presence in areas where the Met was previously mistrusted.

“It’s
a two-pronged initiative because it makes us more visible and transparent as a
police force and also helps us recruit people from those communities,” he said.

The
Queens Park visit follows a pilot held in Stratford and PAT will be visiting
other areas including Ilford, Uxbridge, Hounslow and Brent.

In
the past year, 9.8 per cent of new recruits were from minority backgrounds and
the service is hoping to extend this by sponsoring more cultural events,
including a Chinese dragon boat race later this year.

The
Met wants 5 per cent of all officers to be from an ethnic minority background.

By Ross Wigham

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