secretary David Blunkett will today tell the National Black Police
will call on them to work with police forces to keep up the momentum
for change, which has already seen a major increase in the number of
visible ethnic minority police officers on our streets.
Mr Blunkett will say:
'An effective, modern, visible and community focused service is vital
if we are to maintain delivery and achieve the civil renewal and
engagement agenda that we're promoting. Not least because we're
endeavouring to get over a history of less than acceptable approaches
to diversity as a nation and, historically, amongst the police
'To get the best, whatever their background, the service has to be
attractive to the best. White, black, asian, whatever, who wants to
be part of a service without modern service values?
'We have the opportunity to do this now. The demographics of the
police service are changing and with the recruitment of a wider, more
diverse police staff, we are already seeing a vastly different
organisation to even 10 years ago, which will and must reflect the
communities they serve.
'We have record numbers of police officers, with the number of
minority ethnic officers increasing by over 50% since targets were
set in 1999. And it's not just about officers. Minority ethnic
representation of police staff is currently at 6%, already ahead of
the 2004 milestone of 5%.'
The home secretary thanked the NBPA for responding to his calls for
them to work with the Met on race issues:
'Last week we had a public profile for one part of the service which
all of us would want to put right and put behind us. Only by
addressing the issues can this be achieved. Only by coming together
can we make the continuing improvements possible.
'Thank you for responding to me and being prepared, as were the Met,
to committing yourselves to find a way forward. It is in all our
interests - we need to recruit and hold onto good men and women who
represent diverse communities, and we need them to be retained, well
trained and open for promotion. This is vital for effective community
based policing in which the communities have confidence in the
police, and the police can be confident that the communities will
work with them in preventing and tackling crime.'
Concluding, Mr Blunkett said:
'For the police service to tackle crime and win the trust and
confidence of the communities they serve, they must focus on
neighbourhood community based policing, engaging with their
communities who have a large part to play in achieving community
'Ultimately I want a police force that people can be proud to join, a force that protects and serves communities - all communities - and that truly represents the people it is there to protect.'