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 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 had a drop in non-white officers in the six months to September 2000.
By Ben Willmott