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Last Updated: Sunday, 18 June 2006, 13:45 GMT 14:45 UK
Police 'need to be more diverse'
Sir Trevor Phillips
The CRE has previously warned against speeding up integration
A change in recruitment law is needed if the police are to be fit for purpose, says the chairman of the Commission for Race Equality (CRE).

Trevor Phillips told BBC's Sunday AM show the Muslim community affected by the Forest Gate anti-terror raid had showed extraordinary restraint.

But he said to avoid alienation, more Muslim police officers were needed.

His call is a turnaround for the commission, which had previously warned against positive discrimination.

Speaking on the show, he said: "Are the security services and police fit for purpose?... I think they clearly are not.

"In the last couple of years they have been saying to me, 'We are not diverse enough, we have not got enough Muslims', so we don't quite know how to evaluate the intelligence and we do things wrong."

He said the commission had been warning against accelerating the integration of forces over the last two years for fear it may look unfair.

"Now I think this is a matter of national security," he said.

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