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Met police on drive to encourage workforce diversity

The Metropolitan Police is changing its recruitment procedures to reflect better the diversity of London's population.

The force is in the process of taking on 5,000 new police constables by 2016, and has decided to recruit to entry-level roles only those candidates who have lived in Greater London for three out of the last six years.

The measure is aimed at increasing the proportion of minority ethnic officers, who currently comprise around 10 per cent of the force. Around 40 per cent of Londoners are from an ethnic minority.

In recent intakes 60 per cent of new recruits have come from outside London, and only one in ten of those is from an ethnic minority.

Robin Wilkinson, the Met's HR director, said that he wanted 'the Met looking and feeling like London, to have London policed by Londoners'.

Minor convictions considered

The Met is also relaxing strict rules that barred people from joining the force if they have criminal convictions. Candidates with a minor conviction are to be considered, to bring in a 'more balanced and nuanced view'.

Campaigners welcomed the move to give ex-offenders a chance. One in five people in the UK aged 10 and above has a criminal record. Ex-offenders with a job are half as likely to re-offend as those who don't have work.

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