HISTORIC MILESTONE: The Metropolitan Police now has 4,000 black and minority ethnic (BME) officers
LONDON'S METROPOLITAN Police has announced that it now employs 4,000 black and minority ethnic (BME) officers, a “significant milestone” in its quest to become more representative of London.
As 300 new recruits prepare to qualify as officers, the influx means London now has more than half of all BME police in the whole of the UK.
Met Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe has previously said boosting the force’s diversity is “essential” if it is earn and keep Londoners’ trust.
In recent years Scotland Yard and the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime have introduced a number of initiatives aimed at attracting more BME recruits.
Mayor Sadiq Khan has now vowed to seek legal advice to see what can be done to speed up the recruitment process, something the Met commissioner, Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, has said he supports.
Khan said: “We have made some great progress, but we still have more to do.
“I want to find how, by seeking legal advice on our next steps, we can achieve my manifesto aim of having a Met that is as diverse as the make-up of Londoners."
He continued: "This is not about tokenism, but about building trust and respect between our vital police force and all Londoners.
“One of the best things about London is its astounding diversity.
"But to continue to be one of the safest big cities in the world, and I want us to become even safer, we need our capital's police force to reflect this, and to look like the communities it is charged with keeping safe," Khan added.
Today 311 new recruits, including 79 BME officers, will take part in a passing-out parade at Hendon training school to mark the transition from trainee police officer to probationer.
Met Commissioner, Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, said: "I am proud of the significant achievements celebrated today.
"Having over 4,000 BME officers policing the streets of London every day represents a significant milestone.
“More progress has been made in the last three years than at any point in recent decades. Although, we recognise there is more to do, we are very pleased with this progress.
“These 311 officers are at the beginning of rewarding careers and many more will follow in their footsteps. Serving London will be a privilege for them and I know they will make this city proud."