Racial Discrimination

Home Office written question – answered on 23rd June 2015.

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Photo of Lord Ouseley Lord Ouseley Crossbench

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the actions and resources required to minimise the adverse effects and impact of institutional racism in society as a whole and in the Metropolitan Police Service, particularly in the light of the statement by the Commissioner for the Metropolitan Police that institutional racism remains a serious problem.

Photo of Lord Bates Lord Bates The Minister of State, Home Department

The Government recognises that people from all communities want the police to fight crime while having confidence that their individual needs will be understood and respected.

The Metropolitan Police have worked hard to improve equality and diversity since the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry. The officer workforce is more representative in terms of gender and ethnicity than it has ever been. However, the Government is clear that there is more for all police forces to do.

Our reforms will allow for faster progress on equality and diversity. PCCs and the College of Policing will play a key role in ensuring improvements in forces. The College of Policing has published advice for forces on the use of more proactive, lawful approaches to the recruitment and progression of officers from currently under-represented groups, using positive action provisions in the Equality Act 2010.

New entry routes into policing such as direct entry and Police Now are also helping to improve the diversity of the police workforce. Police Now, a flagship Metropolitan Police scheme aimed at attracting top university graduates, which is supported by Home Office funding received over 2,200 applications, of which 48% were from women, and 19% were from people from Black or Minority Ethnic backgrounds. 79 individuals accepted provisional job offers. Of these, 16% are from a Black or Minority Ethnic background and 47% are women. This is in contrast to the current representation levels in the Metropolitan Police where only 11% of police officers are from a Black or Minority Ethnic background and 25% are women.

We have reformed the use of stop and search to ensure that the police use all such powers lawfully, in a targeted and intelligence-led way; and local communities must be able to hold the police to account for their use of the powers. All 43 forces in England and Wales, and the British Transport Police, signed up to the voluntary Best Use of Stop and Search Scheme.

In London, the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) has introduced London residency criteria for police constable recruitment in 2014. Since its introduction MPS figures indicate that the proportion of black and other minority ethnic applicants is now reaching representative levels when compared with London’s population.

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