Police miss target on ethnic minority recruitment

Police badge and radio.

Photo: Depositphotos.com

The number of people with a bi-cultural background starting training to become a police officer fell to 22% of the total last year after two years of steady increases, according to the national police force annual report.

In absolute terms, however, there was an increase in bi-cultural new recruits – from 254 in 2017 to 315 in 2018.

The police have been keen to expand the diversity of recruits and managed to boost the percentage of ethnic minority hopefuls to 29% of the total in 2017. The target is for 25%.

Spokesman Lute Nieuwerth said the decline is probably due to the tightness of the labour market. ‘We want the force to be as diverse as possible,’ he said. ‘We are doing our best but it is not an easy task, particularly now the labour market has become more complicated.’

The police hope to recruit 17,000 new officers over the next seven years.

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