Met commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe highlights media role in a more diverse force


Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, spoke today of the challenges shared by Scotland Yard and the news media in serving the needs of London's increasingly diverse population.

In a speech made at the London Press Club Awards, Sir Bernard said he wanted young Londoners of all ethnic backgrounds to see a career in the police as a "fantastic vocation" which stood alongside other leading professions.

He said: "Some cultures,and some of the majority population, seem to often think of policing as an artisan trade left to the artisans. We don't often hear that they want to be a senior police officer."

Sir Bernard said he wanted a force that was "more professional, more effective and totally represents the aspirations of the people of London". Quoting figures that showed that only 45 per cent of Londoners categorised themselves as "white British", he admitted that only 10 per cent of Met officers were from ethnic minority backgrounds. "There's far more that we can do there to make sure that we represent London in all its richness," he said.

Sir Bernard said it was not his job to "meet a right-wing political agenda" but to ensure the safety of all Londoners. "My job is not to question whether immigration and change to our community are good things," he said, adding that "a crime is not made worse because it's committed by someone from overseas."

But he said his job was made more complex by such factors as the public reaction in Pakistan to comments made by Pakistani politicians exiled in London.

"This city is changing faster than ever," he said. "It's certainly the most diverse city in the UK and we would argue the world."

Speaking at the Stationers' and Newspaper Markers' Hall, in the City of London, Sir Bernard told a room full of editors and other senior journalists, that the news media faced similar challenges to the police in serving a diverse population in changing times.

But he said there was no better way for the police to communicate key messages to the public than via the mass media with its large audiences. He acknowledged that both the police service and the press had suffered from recent crises in poublic confidence but said that "journalism in Britain is improving all the time", citing the recent appointment by American network NBC of the senior ITV journalist Deborah Turness as the new head of NBC News.   

The London Press Club made an award of Londoner of the Year to Lord Coe, who thanked the press for its coverage of last year's London Olympics.

The former BBC Newsnight reporter Liz MacKean criticised BBC bosses as she accepted a joint award for Scoop of the Year for her role in uncovering abuse by Jimmy Savile. "They have singularly failed to acknowledge that the BBCshould have run the story," she said. The award was also made to her colleague Meirion Jones, to ITV's Mark Williams-Thomas and The Oldie's Miles Goslett for their parts in exposing Savile's behaviour.

John Humphrys, presenter on BBC Radio 4's Today programme, was named Broadcast Journalist of the Year, partly for his probing interview with former BBC Director-General George Entwistle last year. Humphrys said the award should have gone to his BBC colleague the foreign correspondent Paul Wood. "All I did was get the Director-General sacked," he said.

Humphrys praised the role of newspapers as part of the wider news media. "They do the stuff the BBC cannot do," he said. "God knows what we would do without you."

The blogger of the year was Susi Boniface, author of the Fleet Street Fox blog, which was praised for giving "an insider's perspective of what it was like to be a popular newspaper reporter". The Daily Mail's Chris Tookey was named Arts Reviewer of the Year. Business Journalist of the Year was the investigative reporter Tom Bergin of Reuters for a "string of business scoops that rocked big corporates both here and in the US". The winner of the Edgar Wallace Award was Caitlin Moran of The Times.

The London Press Club praised the Evening Standard for the high quality of its output and said it had enjoyed a "very good year" and moved into profit. The Times was named Daily Newspaper of the Year and the Sunday newspaper of the year was the Mail on Sunday.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksA celebration of British elections
Arts and Entertainment
Billie Piper as Brona in Penny Dreadful
tvReview: It’s business as usual in Victorian London. Let’s hope that changes as we get further into the new series spoiler alert
Life and Style
A nurse tends to a recovering patient on a general ward at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham
Arts and Entertainment
No Offence
tvReview: No Offence has characters who are larger than life and yet somehow completely true to life at the same time spoiler alert
Chuck Norris pictured in 1996
Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Lucas, I SCREAM DADDIO, Installation View, British Pavilion 2015
artWhy Sarah Lucas is the perfect choice to represent British art at the Venice Biennale
A voter placing a ballot paper in the box at a polling station
Arts and Entertainment
The Queen (Kristin Scott Thomas) in The Audience
theatreReview: Stephen Daldry's direction is crisp in perfectly-timed revival
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Dublin (based in London)

£20000 - £25000 per annum + commission: SThree: Real Staffing's Pharmaceutical...

Guru Careers: Business Analyst / Digital Business Analyst

£50 - 60k (DOE): Guru Careers: We are seeking a Business Analyst / Digital Bus...

Guru Careers: Business Development Manager / Sales

£30 - 40k (£65k Y1 OTE Uncapped): Guru Careers: We are seeking a Business Deve...

Guru Careers: Graduate Media Assistant

Competitive (DOE): Guru Careers: We are looking for an ambitious and adaptable...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power