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Last Updated: Friday, 14 November, 2003, 08:34 GMT
New racism strategy for Met
Police recruits
Police recruits now have to meet national standards
Assessors from the local community will help recruit new police officers in a bid by the Metropolitan Police to stamp out racism in the force.

The Met says it will draw 25% of its assessors from the community - the first time it has given Londoners a say in who polices their streets.

Commissioner Sir John Stevens is due to meet some of the new assessors when he visits the Hendon recruitment centre in north London on Friday.

The move follows the introduction of new recruitment standards in England and Wales by the Home Office to try to ensure uniform recruitment procedures.

The Met said all the community assessors have received rigorous training and are involved in marking written papers, interviewing, role-play and assessing performance.

"This is one of the biggest changes the Met has seen for years and one that could not be more timely or appropriate," Sir John said.

The best people to know what's going on in the community are the people within that community
Alfred John, Black Police Association

"At a time when our recruitment practices are under intense scrutiny, we need to be able to demonstrate our accountability and commitment to the communities we serve."

All applicants to the Met have to complete two written exercises, four interactive role-playing exercises, an interview and numerical and verbal reasoning tests.

Successful candidates also undergo a medical examination and fitness test to national standards.

The Black Police Assocation (BPA) said allowing members of the public to help assess recruits is a positive move.

"The best people to know what's going on in the community are the people within that community", the BPA's Alfred John told BBC London.

"I think it not only combats racism but it also helps to maintain standards.

"We want to check and make sure that the quality of the recruits are the calibre we desire within the Metropolitan Police Service."


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