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Last Updated: Monday, 5 January, 2004, 08:54 GMT
Met recruits 'to state sexuality'
Gay Police Association officers marching in London
The scheme is backed by the Gay Police Association
New police recruits are to be asked to state their sexuality in their applications, in a bid to get more gay officers to join.

The drive, initiated by the Gay Police Association (GPA), means officers will be asked if they are gay, straight, or bisexual.

It is hoped the scheme will help increase the number of gay police officers in the force by 10%.

Pilot schemes are due to start in London and Bedfordshire in the spring.

The Association of Chief Police Officers is also backing the scheme.

It says, because sexual orientation is not visible, it is hard to tell if the composition of forces reflects the populations they serve.

Profiling 'has advantages'

In areas where there are found to be few gay officers, special recruitment campaigns will be used to boost numbers.

Inspector Paul Cahill, chairman of the GPA, said profiling new recruits had its advantages.

He said: "It will let us see the profile of people who are getting promoted and specialising, and see where they are going within the service, and whether there are any natural barriers for them as lesbian and gay members of staff."

In August last year the GPA teamed up with Sussex Police for the first time for the Gay Pride festival in Preston Park in Sussex.

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