From March 2010 to March 2013 the proportion of black and minority ethnic officers has increased from 4.6% to 5%. While the police work force is more representative in terms of gender and ethnicity than it has ever been, there is still much more to be done by forces.
One in three of my constituents is from a black and minority ethnic background but that is true of only one in 10 of our police. Does the Minister recognise that in communities like mine in east London that can lead to an undermining of confidence that our police are drawing from the widest talent pool possible in serving our capital city? If he does agree that that is a problem, will he back our plans to fast-track action to do something about it?
I agree completely with the hon. Lady that this issue needs addressing. I am happy to tell the House that it is being addressed. The Metropolitan police plan to recruit 5,000 new constables between now and 2015, and their aim is that 40% of them should be from a minority background, to reflect the population of London as a whole. This indeed is a serious issue, which the Metropolitan police are addressing.