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40% of Met recruits should be Black, Asian or minority ethnic, force says

Will Taylor
·News Reporter
·3-min read
 Police officers wearing facemasks are seen having a conversation before the start of the protest. With a number of expected demonstrations taking place in the capital this weekend, the Metropolitan Police mobilized staffing from all quarters. Territorial Support Group (TSG) the Met's Public Order operating unit, Mounted police, motorbikes and other vehicles plus a large number of officers on foot. (Photo by Keith Mayhew / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)
40% of the Met should be officers from a Black, Asian or minority ethnic background, the force has said. (Photo by Keith Mayhew / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)

Just under half of the Metropolitan Police’s officers should be from a Black, Asian or minority background by 2022, the force has said.

In an update on Friday, Dame Cressida Dick, the Met’s commissioner, said the service was not “not free of discrimination, racism or bias” and acknowledged it does not have enough trust in some Black communities.

The Met said in a statement that it had come a “very long way over the last two decades” and worked to build “positive relationships” with London’s diverse communities.

Read more: Cressida Dick: The Met is not institutionally racist

It added that half of all Black, Asian and minority ethnic officers in England and Wales work in the Met.

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick, Home Secretary Priti Patel and London Mayor Sadiq Khan attend the National Police Memorial in London to mark National Police Memorial Day.
Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick has said the Met still has an issue with racism. (PA)

“We want these numbers to increase further and have an ambition for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic officers to make up 40% of all Met officers recruited from 2022,” the statement said.

“In addition, our ambition is to also increase the overall number of black officers in the Met and continue building on the success we have seen through our Outreach Recruitment Programme to encourage more Black Londoners to consider a career in policing.”

Read more: Half UK ethnic minority staff say employers doing nothing or unaware of action

The target would bring the Met in line with the 2011 census, which found 40.2% of people in London identified as Asian, Black, Mixed or from another ethnic group.

The government’s website states that 15% of officers in the Met were those ethnicities in 2019.

The Met said 5,000 people who are Black, Asian or minority ethnic are in the force, including 2,000 special constables, and 26% of its 10,000 police staff.

People during a protest march organised by Black Lives Matter from the US Embassy towards Parliament square, London on Saturday July 11, 2020
Black Lives Matter brought focus back onto the issue of race and policing. (PA)

The recruitment target follows a summer of anti-racism protests driven by the Black Lives Matter movement, which applied renewed focus on police and race issues.

They were caused by the death of George Floyd in the US, which happened after a white officer was filmed pinning him to the ground by kneeling on his neck for more than eight minutes.

“I recognise trust in the Met is still too low in some Black communities, as is their trust in many other institutions. I feel very sorry about that,” Commissioner Dick said.

“It is something I have worked to change and I commit now to stepping up that work further.

“My top two operational priorities are reducing violence and increasing public confidence in the Met, particularly the confidence of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities.

“Actions are more important than words and, as I have said before, we can do more and we will.

“The Met is not free of discrimination, racism or bias. I have always acknowledged that and do now again.

“In the Met we have zero tolerance of racism. My job is to continue to try to eliminate any such racism and discrimination, however it appears.”

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