Birmingham & Black Country

West Midlands Police 'must recruit more minorities', PCC says

Labour's David Jamieson
Image caption David Jamieson said the force must "reach out to all communities"

West Midlands Police must "up its game" after hiring just one black officer from its latest recruitment drive, the force commissioner has said.

The force is taking on 450 officers and of the first 162 that started last month, one is black, seven are mixed race, and 13 are Asian.

Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson said the police should look like the public it serves.

A force spokesman said the figures show "more needs to be done".

Mr Jamieson, who requested a breakdown of the recruitment figures, said: "West Midlands Police quite rightly only recruits the very best people, but West Midlands Police clearly need to do more to engage with communities to ensure that more BME [black and ethnic minority] people apply to be police officers.

"The police service should look like the public it serves."

West Midlands Police is the second biggest force in England, with almost 7,000 officers policing Birmingham, the Black Country and Coventry.

Image copyright PA
Image caption West Midlands Police said it accepted more needs to be done

In a statement, the force said: "Clearly, these figures show more needs to be done to attract certain groups when compared to the population of the West Midlands and understand the barriers which may hold potential candidates back from applying.

"Since the last intake we have changed the positive action approach to be more targeted towards under-represented groups, including pre-recruitment workshops, discovery days, myth-busting presentations and personal mentoring support."

The force started accepting applications for a further 200 officers on 23 March, after ending a five-year recruitment freeze in February last year.

The spokesman said compared to last year there has been 50% more applications from black Afro-Caribbean candidates.

"Although we can't be certain how many will get through the process, the quality of candidates is extremely high giving us greater confidence more candidates will become constables."

Related Topics

More on this story