London-only police constable recruitment

MQT on 2015-09-16
Session date: 
September 16, 2015
Question By: 
Tony Arbour
GLA Conservatives
Asked Of: 
The Mayor


What impact has there been from the decision to have the Metropolitan Police Service recruit new constables exclusively from London?


Answer for London-only police constable recruitment

Answer for London-only police constable recruitment

Answered By: 
The Mayor

When I was elected, I pledged to build a police force that looks far more like the city it serves than the one I inherited. We know that it is important for officers to be able to relate to London's diverse communities and understand the factors that make London unique. This is essential to help build a relationship of trust and inspire confidence in the public.

While I have rejected crude targets or quotas, last year the Commissioner and I decided to take the practical step of introducing London-only recruitment. This means that new recruits must have lived in London for 3 of the previous 6 years.

We have only been able to do this because of the decision to recruit 5,000 new officers, despite falling budgets.

It has, understandably, taken some time to work through, but I am now extremely pleased with the success of the scheme so far. The proportion of new recruits who are black or minority ethnic has more than doubled, and the proportion of women has gone from a quarter of all recruits to a third.

This was a practical measure we could introduce to improve the diversity of talent in the Met and the skills our officers have. We have acted within the current legislation, rather than being tokenistic and chasing crude targets.

There is still much more to do, but we should be encouraged, for example, by the diversity of our fantastic volunteer police cadets where nearly half are female and more than half are BME.