The government has told the police service to step up its drive to encourage the recruitment of ethnic minorities and women into the force.
At a National Diversity conference held jointly by the Home Office and Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) last week, the government launched the Positive Action Toolkit, a good practice guide for police forces on running positive action events for police recruitment.
Policing minister, Hazel Blears, said the recent terror attacks in London showed how important it was for the police to recruit as diverse a group of officers as possible.
“Whether we are disabled, gay or lesbian, young or old, Muslim or Jewish, we all have a contribution to make to policing either as members of staff or members of the community, and we need to recognise the real benefits that diversity can bring to our society,” Blears said.
“We are committed to the achievement of a modern and fully representative police service and are working together with the police service to improve the way in which police officers interact with communities and to promote a greater awareness and respect for diversity.”
Peter Fahy, ACPO lead on race and diversity and Chief Constable of Cheshire Police, said the drive was not about political correctness but it is about a very clear operational need.
“We must be confident that the police service can attract the brightest and most committed whatever the race, gender or background,” he said.