Quotas should be introduced in the police service to make forces recruit more female officers, according to an industry body.
The British Association for Women in Policing has written to Hazel Blears, the police minister, to ask her to allow “disproportionate recruitment” in forces until females make up at least 35 per cent of the workforce.
The association also wants quotas to be used within forces to get more women promoted to senior positions.
Julie Spence, president of the association, told Police Review magazine: “At an individual level it can seem unfair, but at a strategic level we are re-balancing years of unbalanced recruitment.”
Home Office figures show that women currently make up 20 per cent of police officer numbers, although this number rises to 35 per cent when taking into account police staff.