The Metropolitan Police Service has acheived 30.4% female officer representation – the largest proportion in its history.
As of the end of September 2022, the Met had 10,386 full time equivalent female police officers, with strong female representation across all levels.
It aims to acheive 33% female representation by the 2023/24 financial year and wants 50% of all new recruits to be women. Since April 2022, 44.5% of all new officers have been female.
It suggested that some of its success in increasing female representation can be attributed to the introduction of part-time police officer roles in 2019, which attracted an applicant pool of 60% females. Returners, volunteering and transfer routes have also proved popular among women, the Met claimed.
London’s main police force has also reported improvements in the representation of ethnic minority officers (16.6%). However, just 3.6% of its officers are black, despite 13.3% of the city’s population falling into this ethnic group.
Police diversity and culture
Met Police commissioner Sir Mark Rowley said: “The evidence across the world is that the best companies and organisations benefit from diverse teams. It is not only about fairness, it is about being most effective in a complex world.
“I am really pleased that we have achieved our highest ever female representation as part of the Met reaching its greatest ever total number of officers. The Met is committed to making progress on all of its recruitment ambitions. We are working hard to replicate this success in attracting those from Black and multiple ethnic heritage communities to a career in the Met – so our workforce better reflects the communities we serve.”
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said: “We know that there is further to go to make the Met more representative of the city it serves and to rebuild public confidence and trust in the police – particularly among women and girls and London’s black communities.
“I have set the Met challenging targets in this area and the news that nearly one in three police officers in London are women is a significant step forward. These officers will play a big role in helping to restore trust and confidence in the police, improve the support for victims of crime, and build on the success we have made in driving down violence and crime in our city to build a safer London for everyone.”
The Met Police has recently faced criticism for allowing a culture of misogyny to emerge. The recent Casey review into misconduct found that the police service mishandled claims of sexual misconduct, misogyny, racism and homophobia, which should have resulted in hundreds of police officers being dismissed.
This week, a report by His Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary will recommend that police forces should look at the social media activity of new recruits to ensure corrupt or predatory officers are rooted out as early as possible.
The police watchdog will also say that plans to increase diversity might have led to greater leniency in the vetting of recruits from minority backgrounds, The Times reported.
Last week it emerged that an officer who repeatedly raped a girl was hired by Hertfordshire Constabulary despite concerns about his inappropriate use of social media. He was recently sentenced to 18 years and three months in prison for 10 charges of child sex abuse. Hertfordshire Constabulary said it was reviewing its procedures.