The Met announce London only recruitment drive to improve community relations
The Metropolitan Police has announced a London-only recruitment policy aimed at increasing diversity and employing officers that are more understanding of the communities they serve.
SSLP highlighted the issue when it gave evidence to the London Assembly's Stop and Search Working Group last year.
SSLP's Molly Mulready-Jones said at the time: 'When a lot of London police come from places outisde London they sometimes feel quite frightened of the people they are policing and do not seem to really understand where they are coming from.'
SSLP's Cecilia Goodwin told ITV News that, with time, the policy should encourage more ethnic minorities to join the force, which should help dilute what is perceived as a white, male and aggressive culture. In turn a more diverse and local force should be more understanding of the communties they serve, which in turn should help build trust and better relations.
Many young people complain of being treated like criminals whilst out with their friends because of the way they look and their age. They say that they end up seeing the police as a threat rather than someone to go to when they are in need of help.
Lucy Ferguson, director of creative youth organisation Mediorite, said some young people end up being caught between gangs and the police with nowhere to go. She said if the police focused on building better relations with young people they might find they are more forthcoming in reporting crime and providing intelligence.