Minority recruits 'should join Met at a higher rank'

Police recruits from a black, minority or ethnic background should be allowed to join Britain's biggest force at a higher rank than constable in a bid to increase diversity among senior officers, a new report has suggested.

The report, commissioned by London's Mayor, Boris Johnson, says that the Metropolitan Police is not doing enough to retain and promote black, minority and ethnic officers.

The claims are backed up by figures which show that minority candidates applying for posts above the rank of inspector at Scotland Yard have a 9 per cent success rate, compared to a 23 per cent success rate for non-minority candidates. And, of the 38 most senior officers at the Metropolitan Police – those above the rank of commander – none is from a minority background.

It is a problem replicated nationally. A recent survey for Jane's Police Review showed that, of the 269 officers of Association of Chief Police Officer rank in the UK – those ranked assistant chief constable or above – only four are from a minority background.

Among the report's recommendations to change this within the Met are that single-point entry, which requires every police officer to start as a constable and work their way through every police rank, should be abolished. Instead, officers should be allowed to start at a higher position and skip certain ranks.

The report, compiled by the Metropolitan Police Authority, also suggests fast-tracking minority police community support officers, allowing them to become fully-warranted PCs quickly. And it says that the assessment process for promotion to senior rank should be external, so as to eliminate prejudice against minority candidates.

Ever since being labelled "institutionally racist" following the Macpherson Report into the handling of the Stephen Lawrence murder inquiry, the Met has fought to shake off the tag. But in 2008 it was stung by the decision of Tarique Ghaffur, one of Britain's most senior minority officers, to take the then Commissioner Sir Ian Blair to an employment tribunal, alleging racism.

In the wake of this the Metropolitan Black Police Association announced it was encouraging potential minority recruits to boycott the force.

The report says that, while the force was not racist or "riddled with... bias and prejudice", it found "a number of examples of poor practice which give rise to perceived and, at times, real discrimination." It added: "If the Metropolitan Police Service is to succeed in retaining minority staff... it must focus on the barriers to progression. [Black, minority and ethnic] officers are concentrated at the lower ranks... If police officers could join the MPS at ranks higher than constable, the MPS could change its profile radically."

But while the report accepts the force is no longer a racist environment, one officer strongly disagreed. David MacFarlane, of the Metropolitan Black Police Association, said: "When I joined in 1980 I was called a nigger. Now I'm treated like one. It hasn't improved – it just comes in a different way, and that's what we need to address."

A spokeswoman for the Metropolitan Police said: "The report acknowledges the significant progress made by the MPS in addressing the issues of equality and diversity. We recognise there is still more to do. We will now be considering the recommendations in the report."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Sport
ESPN footage showed a split-screen Murray’s partner Kim Sears and Berdych’s partner Ester Satorova 'sporting' their jewellery
tennis
Arts and Entertainment
Cold case: Aaron McCusker and Christopher Eccleston in ‘Fortitude’
tvReview: Sky Atlantic's ambitious new series Fortitude has begun with a feature-length special
Voices
Three people wearing masks depicting Ed Miliband, David Cameron and Nick Clegg
voicesPolitics is in the gutter – but there is an alternative, says Nigel Farage
Voices
The veterans Mark Hayward, Hugh Thompson and Sean Staines (back) with Grayson Perry (front left) and Evgeny Lebedev
charity appealMaverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
News
i100
News
people
Sport
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho
footballThe more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Life and Style
Vote green: Benoit Berenger at The Duke of Cambridge in London's Islington
food + drinkBanishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turn over a new leaf
News
Joel Grey (left) poses next to a poster featuring his character in the film
peopleActor Joel Grey comes out at 82
News
i100
News
business
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee