Recruitment targeted at people from Black, Asian and Multi Ethnic (BAME) background could “change the face of the West Midlands Police force, bosses have said.
West Midlands Police & Crime Commissioner, David Jamieson said that 1,000 BAME officers will be recruited over the next three years.
He said that the force, currently 11% BAME, should reflect an area where about 30% of people are BAME.
Recent anti-racism demonstrations have highlighted issues between police in the UK and the BAME community.
Following Black Lives Matter protesters recently gathering outside the West Midlands Police headquarters, in Birmingham, the force is being investigated over the high number of complaints made relating to the over-excessive force it uses against Black men.
Asked, why, after nearly six years in office, he chose now to announce his commitment Jamieson said that cuts to police had prohibited large-scale recruitment.
Now, with funding for 20,000 police officers from the Home Office, he said: “We have got a much better opportunity to make a real change”.
Chair of West Midlands Police’s Black and Asian Federation, Karen Geddes, said that it was a positive statement.
“It’s a good number to put out there, I’d like to see how”, she said. “How is he going to do that, what is the strategy behind it, what are we going to do if we don’t achieve it?”
Being the second biggest force in England, West Midlands Police has 6,495 officers.
The 1,000 new BAME officers will be among 2,750 recruits which, after replacing those leaving the force, will mean 1,200 new police officers.