Police Recruiting Campaign Targets Ethnic Minorities
Jason Bennetto Crime Correspondent, The Independent (London, England)
BRITAIN'S FIRST national police recruitment campaign, costing pounds 7m, is to begin this month in an attempt to boost the number of beat officers and encourage more ethnic minority and female candidates.
The Home Office has hired the advertising agency M&C Saatchi to promote the police service as a profession in advertisements on television and radio, and in the cinema and national press. Part of the strategy is to persuade people from the ethnic minorities that the service is a worthwhile career.
In an attempt to recruit women, the campaign will emphasise the intelligence aspect of the job rather than macho elements. It will also focus on positive stories about encounters with officers and how they change people's attitudes.
But targets set for the recruitment of ethnic minority officers still look wildly ambitious, with research showing the number of non- white officers is falling in many forces.
The Home Secretary, Jack Straw, wants to see a total of 8,265 black and Asian officers in England and Wales by 2009. But the number has risen by just 209 in two years, from 2,483 in March 1998 to 2,754 in March this year. …