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News ->Increase diversity among police and teachers says poll

(25 March 2006)

Arun Batra of the London Development Agency (LDA) speaking at the State of Race Conference.An ICM survey of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Londoners has revealed strong support for policies to tackle race inequality in the capital and increase diversity within the public services, including the police and teaching professions. Eight out of ten people said they agree that London's police force should reflect the communities that it serves, according to the new research, which was undertaken on behalf the Greater London Authority to coincide with the State of Race Equality in London conference on Saturday 25 March 2006.

Even though 58 per cent think that London primary schools are doing a good job at educating minority ethnic children – falling to 48 per cent in agreement for secondary schools – 68 per cent think school staff should reflect the diversity of the pupils they teach.

Of those who have experienced discrimination in the workplace, 83 per cent think that discrimination is far more likely to be linked to skin colour than as a result of gender, name or accent.

In spite of this, three quarters of people say that there are good relations between different racial and religious groups, whilst nine out of ten say they like London's cultural diversity, reinforcing previous studies. Three quarters of respondents also believe that equal rights and opportunities for ethnic minorities are better than they were 10 years ago.

However, the findings also show clear support for a specific national organisation promoting equal rights for ethnic minorities. 89 per cent think that it is important there is a specific national organisation promoting equal rights for ethnic minorities.

London Mayor Ken Livingstone said today: "40 percent of London's total population is from a minority ethnic group, with 29 per cent from Black or Asian communities. London has always been a city that welcomes people from different cultures encouraging them to live and prosper in the city. But only 18 per cent of public sector managers and senior officials are from Black, Asian and minority ethnic Londoners, who are still concentrated in low-grade jobs and menial roles. This is unacceptable. Combating racism and racial inequalities is an issue for all sections of society."

Speakers at the conferenced included: Ken Livingstone, Mayor of London; Margaret Hodge MP, Minister of State for Employment and Welfare Reform; Warqar Azmi, Chief Diversity Adviser, Civil Service; Rose Fitzpatrick, Deputy Assistant Police Commissioner; Lee Jasper, Director of Equalities and Policing for Mayor of London; Ken Knight, Commissioner, London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority; Dru Sharpling, Chief Crown Prosecutor London; Peter Hendy, Commissioner, Transport for London.


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