Police overwhelmingly white and male, says Hackney councillor


A Hackney councillor has labelled the Metropolitan Police “overwhelmingly white and male” in a serious critique of the London force.

Rick Muir, who is also director of the think tank the Police Foundation, told the Hackney Post: “The Met does not reflect the communities it polices at the moment. The fact that they often don’t come from the area or live in the area makes that worse.

“The police shouldn’t be seen as an invading, alien, occupying force. It contributed to the 2011 riots, when there was very clearly a venomous relationship with the police.”

His comments follow home secretary Theresa May’s high-profile criticism of the race record of the police in England and Wales last month.

Hackney Downs, Mr Muir’s ward, has a white British population of just 32 per cent compared to England’s average of 79 per cent, according to the 2011 census.

Scotland Yard’s 2011 report ‘How We Police’ disclosed that 10 per cent of police officers are from black and minority ethnic (BAME) communities.

Mr Muir, who denied that the police are institutionally racist, added: “We have moved on since the Macpherson report, and I think things have improved. Hackney is a genuine case of superdiversity. But clearly there are still big issues.”

A spokesperson for Hackney Downs Safer Neighbourhood Team said: “This is an issue we are aware of, but Safer Neighbourhood Teams tend to be locally recruited and more generally diverse in terms of their composition.”