Police plead guilty over ethnic recruitment

The Metropolitan Police artificially boosted the number of
non-white officers serving on the force in figures submitted to the Home
Office.

Figures for visible ethnic minority recruitment were
increased after officers who would previously have been considered white were
reclassified.

Statistics released by the force last year appeared to show
it had recruited an additional 218 non-white officers in six months, bringing
its total to 1,227.

But the increase included 214 officers who described
themselves as “white Irish” and “other whites” as members of visible ethnic
minorities.

The Home Office revealed that without the inclusion of the
bogus figures the Metropolitan police would have seen a drop in non-white
officers in the six months to September 2000.

After the Stephen Lawrence inquiry report in 1999 Home
Secretary Jack Straw set police a target of increasing the number of non-whites
to 8,265 by 2009. The current figure is under 3,000.

A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police denied the
submission of the inaccurate figures was an attempt to massage the figures. He
added, “It was an error made by a member of staff. We want to be as open as
possible and as soon as the error was discovered we held up our hands to the
mistake.”

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