Met BME recruits more than double in first year of London only policy

16 September 2015

The Mayor of London has welcomed the positive effect of the Met Police’s London only recruitment policy. In just one year the new approach has already seen the number of recruits from minority ethnic backgrounds more than double, and female recruits increase from a quarter to a third. The policy is helping to boost the diversity of talent in London’s police force, making it more resilient and far more reflective of the city it serves.

London is a unique and richly diverse metropolis, where more than 40 per cent of the population is from black or ethnic minority backgrounds. Since August 2014 new police constables have been recruited exclusively from people who have lived in London for three of the last six years, to help create a police force that understands the city’s diversity and is equipped with the skills and cultural competencies necessary to police a great global city.

In the last three months, June-August, of 2015, 26 per cent of new Met officer recruits came from BME background, up from 12 per cent in the same quarter of 2014. The percentage of female recruits has also risen from 26 to 33 per cent of new recruits in the same period.

The Met now has more BME officers than ever before, and the largest proportion of ethnic minority officers in England and Wales. Almost 12 per cent of Met officers are from BME backgrounds, up from just three per cent 15 years ago, and significantly higher than other large cities such as Greater Manchester and Merseyside, whose BME officers represent five per cent and 3.4 per cent of the forces respectively.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, revealed the latest statistics during his Mayor’s Question Time meeting at City Hall this morning. He said: “London is one of the most diverse and culturally rich cities in the world, and it is vital our police force is fully equipped to understand and represent each and every one of our many communities. This bold new approach, to boost the diversity of talent in the new ranks, with officers who really understand the people of London, is starting to pay off. Our new officers are helping the Met to become more reflective of London as a whole and leading the way in creating the force we need to tackle 21st century crime and protect Londoners for many years to come.”

Crime continues to fall in the capital, down around 20 per cent since 2012 across seven key neighbourhood crimes, and the Mayor and the Met have maintained police officer numbers at around 32,000. 5,000 new police constables will have been recruited by April 2016.

Deputy Commissioner, Craig Mackey, said: "Recruiting a workforce that looks and feels more like London is a priority for us. It has not been easy, but these figures show we are making good progress in convincing people from all of the capital's communities that a career in the Met is for them and that they have a real part to play in making their city safer. We recognise we still have much more to do before we are truly representative but introducing the London residency criteria has made a real difference and ensures that our newest officers have an understanding of the city they police even before they hit the streets."


Notes to editors

  •          Out of 495 officers recruited in the most recent quarter (June, July and August) of 2015, 128 were from BME backgrounds. In the same quarter of 2014, 82 officers out of 677 new recruits were from BME backgrounds.
  •          Of the 495 officers recruited in the most recent quarter (June, July and August) of 2015,  164 were female. In the same quarter of 2014 175 officers out of 677 were female.
  •          From August 1 2014, only candidates who have lived in Greater London for three of the last six years are eligible to apply to the Metropolitan Police at entry level.
  •          The process to become a new police constable can take between 6-12 months from expression of interest to the commencement of training.
  •          The Mayor and the Met set out the shared ambition to create a police force that reflects the city it serves in the Mayor of London’s Police and Crime Plan 2013-16. Which can be viewed here:

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