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Last Updated: Monday, 26 January, 2004, 09:36 GMT
Black police recruitment drive
Michael Fuller, Kent Police chief constable
Michael Fuller, the UK's first black chief constable
A new campaign to encourage more people from ethnic minorities to join Thames Valley Police is under way.

The force is one of four selected by the Home Office to take part in a recruitment drive to boost the number of black and ethnic minority officers.

The aim is to make the force, which polices a population of 2.1 million, more representative of the diverse community it serves.

Thames Valley Police is the largest non-metropolitan police force in the country, covering Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire.

Dispelling myths

A series of recruitment seminars and workshops, where both applicants and their families are welcomed, will raise awareness about the flexible working hours, job security and professional career opportunities.

Reading-based Superintendent Dilip Amin, who joined Thames Valley in 1981, said: "As a constable I performed uniform patrol duties, tutored probationer officers, worked on murder incident inquiries, qualified as an authorised firearms officer and experienced public-order duties at major disturbances.

"Now as a senior officer in the force, I am able to influence change which helps improve our performance and the quality of service we provide."

Thames Valley's recruitment officer, chief inspector Geoff Smith said: "We have almost doubled the number of ethnic minority officers since 1999.

"Today's official figure stands at 127 and we are hoping to increase that figure by at least 38 over the next two years."

The move follows Michael Fuller, the first black chief constable in the UK, officially starting his new job as the head of Kent Police on 1 January.

The father-of-two was previously a deputy assistant commissioner with the Metropolitan Police.

The decision in September 2003 to promote the 44-year-old was welcomed by the Black Police Association.

Two Thames Valley police roadshows are to be held from 1000 GMT to 2000 GMT at the Holiday Inn, Caversham Bridge, Reading, on 19 February and the Holiday Inn, Handycross, High Wycombe, on 4 March.


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