Sadiq Khan has acknowledged that the Metropolitan Police must be more representative of the London’s diverse communities, and the need for the recruitment of more BAME, and particularly black officers, within its ranks.
The latest Government data shows that only 15% of Metropolitan Police officers identify as BAME, despite Londoners from ethnic minority backgrounds making up around 40% of the capital’s population.
For black Londoners, the disparity is even greater, with black officers making up just 3% of the force, whilst 13% of the City’s population is black.
In light of these figures, the City’s London Assembly Member, Unmesh Desai asked the Mayor of London whether he felt more needed to be done in this area.
Mr Desai has argued that a key strategy for fighting institutional racism in the Met and improving relations between the force and London’s BAME communities is to ensure the Met is representative of the population it serves.
In response to Mr Desai’s questions, the Mayor said his new Action Plan for the Met would examine “how we deliver a more representative workforce with a proportionate representation of London’s black communities” and that there were already some positive indications with recent recruitment processes having “a high percentage of BAME officers coming through”.
The Mayor went on to say that while recruitment is a central issue, the retention and professional development of existing BAME police officers is also a crucial focus.
Mr Desai said: “I am glad that the Mayor has today reiterated his commitment to ensuring the Met is representative of the communities it serves.
“Increasing the number of BAME police officers in the Met’s ranks remains a key challenge, but it is a crucial facet in ensuring the Met can do its part to tackle the systemic and institutional racism that has blighted our society for far too long.
“I look forward to the Mayor setting out his full Action Plan for the Met in the coming weeks, so we can all see concrete proposals that I hope will improve the relationship between the Met and London’s BAME communities.”