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New police recruits ‘to reflect community they serve’

REFLECTIVE RECRUITMENT: West Midlands Police are aiming to hire more BME officers (PA)

NEWS THAT West Midlands Police is to begin a recruitment drive for 500 new officers who will “reflect the community they serve” has been welcomed by community activist Desmond Jaddoo.

West Midlands Police Chief Constable Chris Sims said: “The force needs to reflect the community it serves and now is the right time to bring in new people.

“The proposal will be coupled with a major investment in technology through a significant procurement process already being worked on with Bob Jones, the Police & Crime Commissioner.”

The force is emphasising that it is bringing in “fresh, new and diverse” officers at a time when crime is down 20 per cent in the region over the past two years.

Jaddoo, a champion of civic engagement, and founder of Birmingham Empowerment Forum (BEF) said: “I welcome this opportunity to increase the number of BME officers as the lack of them at senior level needs addressing.

“At a time when the BME population of the West Midlands is 34 per cent and Birmingham 43 per cent, there are no BME commanders across any of the ten Local Policing Units.

“If the gender balance can be addressed at commander level, then BME inequality needs to be addressed too. I would urge West Midlands Police to seek to recruit at least 150 officers from the BME community to come in line with the region’s current demographic make-up.”

Jaddoo, a former Birmingham City Council housing officer, added: “I am clearly aware of the issues surrounding the relationship between the police and the BME community, such as the [imbalance] surrounding stop and search, deaths in custody, trust and confidence. But I believe this can be addressed through greater reflective governance.”

Sims said the force had seen a small rise in crime overall equivalent to 11 crimes a day in a force serving almost 2.8 million people. He claimed the exceptionally good weather in the summer contributed to a rise in violence crime across the country, while there has been an increase in the victims of hate crime and domestic violence.

He added: “We have launched high-profile campaigns this year addressing the under-reporting offences of hate crime and domestic abuse. I’m encouraged to see more people now coming forward to report these crimes safe in the knowledge that we have specialist teams to help guide them through the process.”

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