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Last Updated: Monday, 25 February 2008, 09:40 GMT
Group aims for more black police
Black and ethnic minority police officers are aiming to increase their numbers in Devon and Cornwall.

There are currently about 43 in the Devon and Cornwall force, 0.8% of the total number of officers.

The National Black Police Association (NBPA) wants to increase the figure to 1% as a starting point and is setting up a new branch in the force.

It will be the first time that black officers have been consulted on policy and procedures.

It follows pressure on police forces to increase black officers.

'Very exciting'

Ten-year targets were set after the Macpherson report into the death of Stephen Lawrence in 1999, to make the police service more representative.

There are up to 8,000 black and ethnic minority people living in Plymouth, the region's biggest city.

Now Chief Constable Stephen Otter, who took up his post last year, has offered to make the NBPA an integral part of the force.

Newquay-based Sgt Sarah Moret, deputy chair of the Devon and Cornwall branch of the NBPA, said: "It's very exciting to have a new branch here, but it should have happened anyway, especially with the Stephen Lawrence inquiry.

"In the last six months since we have had a new progressive chief constable we have put together a far better organisation with far greater support and funding."

The launch of the new branch takes place at the Eden Project in Cornwall on Monday.

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