New Bobbies To Be Exclusively Londoners

As Met sets to recruit 5,000 new police constables

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The Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS), Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe and the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, have announced that for the first time in its modern history, the MPS will recruit exclusively from Londoners to fill the ranks of new police constables.

They say the introduction of this new criteria for applicants to the MPS will help ensure the force is more resilient and more reflective of the city it serves.

The MPS is on track to recruit 5,000 new police constables before 2016 to maintain police numbers at or around 32,000, as pledged in the Mayor's 2012 manifesto. The new policy means that from Friday, 1 August only candidates who have lived in Greater London for three of the last six years will now be eligible to apply at entry level.

The MPS and the Mayor say they want to recruit a workforce that reflects and understands London's diversity and has the skills and 'cultural competencies' needed to police a great global city.

Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, said:

"London is a 24/7 global city with a dynamic and intensity not seen in other parts of the UK. And with London's population increasing and becoming even more diverse it is essential that our workforce is able to maintain the trust and confidence of London's communities.

"Recruiting Constables with a knowledge and understanding of this reality through living in the capital makes sense to help us achieve this aim. They will have a better understanding of local issues, knowledge of local communities and an inbuilt insight into London's varied cultures. We need great talent to help us fight crime."

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said:

"It is vital that London's police force reflects the city it serves. Recent recruitment rounds have attracted a more diverse pool of applicants, but by focusing exclusively on Londoners from now on, we can achieve our goals more quickly. By putting Londoners first, we can fill the Met's ranks with the talented recruits who understand the people and culture of this great global city the best.

"Every police officer is always and will always be selected on merit, but there is more than enough talent in this great city to give the Met all the devoted and skilled new recruits they need to go on keeping Londoners safe."

The Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime, Stephen Greenhalgh, said:

"This new policy is all about competence rather than colour. We need a Metropolitan Police Service that is made up of many more Londoners so the force has the diversity of talent needed to police a great global city. As London grows and changes in the decades ahead, the police must change too so that they can police effectively and maintain public consent. That means having officers who understand the dynamics of this city and who have the skills to connect with and serve all Londoners."

The policy change will not affect serving officers, existing Met police staff, members of the Special Constabulary, or existing police officers seeking to transfer from other UK forces.

People who live outside Greater London will still be able to apply to become an MPS Special Constable, Police Community Support Officer, or member of police staff, or under the existing recruitment process for a Police Constable, until Thursday, 31 July.

July 14th 2014