INTERNATIONAL NEWS: Met attacked for counting whites in 'ethnic' group list

LONDON: The Metropolitan Police force has come under fire for its broad definition of the term 'ethnic minority,' another blow to the image of the beleaguered force.

LONDON: The Metropolitan Police force has come under fire for its broad definition of the term 'ethnic minority,' another blow to the image of the beleaguered force.

LONDON: The Metropolitan Police force has come under fire for its broad definition of the term 'ethnic minority,' another blow to the image of the beleaguered force.

In an attempt to increase diversity among its members, the force went on an ethnic recruitment drive, but ended up with only four non-whites out of 218 new staff, it has been revealed.

Police headquarters Scotland Yard had included recruits with Irish, Australian and Canadian backgrounds among its minority figures, although later insisted that their inclusion was the result of an administrative error.

The problem arose because the force expanded the number of recognized minority groups from nine to 19.

In future, the Met will separately record officers from mixed race backgrounds, from Greece, Turkey and Cyprus, or those who regard themselves as black British, white Irish or Australian. Previously, these groups had been counted together as a single unit.

British newspaper The Guardian reported that Home Secretary Jack Straw was forced to concede that the drive to bring in more Asian and black recruits had suffered a setback.

It is the second time the Metropolitan Police force has come under attack for misinforming the public.

Late last year, the Met admitted that in counting total numbers of officers, some were included twice, resulting in the appearance of an expanded force.

The British police force as a whole has tried to improve race relations following accusations of racism in dealing with the Stephen Lawrence murder.

Lawrence was a young black man who was killed by a group of white youths.

The police were accused of not treating the case with all the seriousness such an overt race crime warranted.



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