Page last updated at 18:33 GMT, Wednesday, 16 April 2008 19:33 UK

Muslims are 'put off joining Met'

Commander Ali Dizaei
Mr Dizaei says the recruitment process should be non-biased

A senior Muslim policeman has said the Metropolitan Police's (Met) recruitment process is putting off young Muslims.

National Black Police Association President and Met Police Commander Ali Dizaei said the process should be "non- biased and fair".

He said some recruits were discouraged because they come under suspicion if they frequently visited some countries.

A Met Police spokesman said all staff regardless of background underwent the same vigorous security procedures.

Speaking to BBC London, Commander Dizaei said: "Just because someone visits a country several times does not necessarily make them a risk.

"We have to be quite careful to ensure our vetting process is non-biased and are fair and get the best people for the jobs without compromising national security."

BBC London's Home Affairs Correspondent Guy Smith said the National Association of Muslim Police told him another concern was that Muslim officers found it difficult to join SO15, the Met's counter-terrorism command, for which you need to be a detective.

Of the 300 current Muslim officers serving in the Met, half have less than three years experience.

It comes as Home Secretary Jacqui Smith announced funding for an extra 300 police jobs to target radicalisation.

She said it was not possible to "arrest our way out of the terrorist threat" and the government aimed to stop people becoming terrorists in the first place.




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