The Metropolitan Police is struggling to meet ethnic recruitment targets imposed after the Stephen Lawrence inquiry, according to its most senior HR professional.
Under goals set by the Home Office, 7.7% of the 150,000 officers in England and Wales must be from minority ethnic backgrounds by 2009. The Met’s target is 25.9% to reflect the make-up of the population in its area.
But Martin Tiplady, director of HR at Scotland Yard, said it is almost impossible to reach this target and wants the government to renegotiate ahead of the deadline.
“We have not got a hope in hell of getting to 25%,” he said.
Earlier this month, Met police commissioner Ian Blair revealed that the force is considering using a quota system to raise the number of ethnic minority officers.
Blair said his force could in future adopt a similar procedure to the quota system operated in Northern Ireland, where an equal number of Catholic and Protestant officers are hired. He said he had discussed the issue with Trevor Phillips, chairman of the Commission for Racial Equality.
But the UK’s most senior police officer said the highly controversial use of positive discrimination would be a “last resort” if other measures failed to increase the representation of non-whites.