The Home Office has selected four police forces throughout the UK to take part in a dedicated recruitment drive to increase the number of black and minority ethnic officers. Supporting the Home Office's 'Could You' advertising campaign, the programme will run from January to March 2004
The project areas are in Thames Valley, West Yorkshire, South Yorkshire and Leicestershire. The forces were chosen to represent areas with different populations and challenges.
Although ethnic minority recruitment is high on the agenda of every force in the country, the approaches being tried in these four areas aim to build on existing force outreach and recruitment work and will help ascertain whether focused support for regional recruitment initiatives can help increase successful ethnic minority applications to the police.
Whilst highlighting the good career opportunities in the police, the campaign will also clarify some common misconceptions such as:
Â· There are no height restrictions for applicants
Â· Anyone between 18-50 years old can apply
Â· While you need a level of fitness, you don't need to be an athlete
A Home Office spokesperson says: "The Secret Policeman programme and Ali Dizaei case have contributed towards giving a negative view of the police service. Although we recognise that racism still needs to be addressed, often the reality of the job for all our police officers is different to current perceptions. We hope this campaign will raise awareness of the varied career and training opportunities available and highlight the support officers get within the service to help them serve their communities effectively."
Thames Valley Superintendent Dilip Amin describes the variety of roles in his career since he joined the police in 1981: "As a constable I performed uniform patrol duties, tutored probationer officers, worked on murder incident enquiries, qualified as an authorised firearms officer and experienced public-order duties at major disturbances. Now as a senior officer in the force, I am able to influence change which helps improve our performance and the quality of service we provide."
Sergeant Nick Glynn, who represents the Black Police Association in Leicestershire, has worked for the police since 1985, and says: `From an early stage you can see that there are 50-60 jobs which you, as a Constable, can do. There aren't many careers where you can consider such a wide variety of jobs without even changing company.'
For further information about a career in the police call 0845 608 3000