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The Commissioner and Mayor on a walkabout in Stratford
The Commissioner and Mayor on a walkabout in Stratford

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Highest ever number of women officers at the Met

The Met's female police officer strength is flourishing with figures showing the largest proportion of women in its history - meaning thousands of extra women officers are now dedicated to serving London's many communities.

As of the end of September 2022, the Met had its highest ever female officer representation of 30.4% (10,386 police officers), with strong representation of women at all levels across the Met.

This number has been increasing steadily over the last ten years and we have an aspiration for our officer strength to reach 33% overall female representation by the financial year of 2023/2024.

We have also made continuous progress over the last ten years to specifically increase female representation within our new recruits. Our aspiration is for 50% of all our new recruits to be women and since April 2022, of a total of 1,678 officers recruited, 44.5% are female (746 officers).

The Met is in a record third year of growth and total workforce figures for the end of September 2022 demonstrate that it has reached the greatest strength ever, at 34,112 police officers. Of these, 5,676 (16.6%) are from Black, Asian and multiple ethnic heritage communities and 1,215 (3.6%) Black officers.

As part of the ongoing work by the Met’s dedicated outreach teams across the capital to attract more diverse candidates, the Met Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley joined Mayor Sadiq Khan at one of their events in Stratford Town Centre today (Friday, 28 October).

Sir Mark Rowley, Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service said:

“The evidence across the world is that the best companies and organisations benefit from diverse teams. It is not only about fairness, it is about being most effective in a complex world.

“I am really pleased that we have achieved our highest ever female representation as part of the Met reaching its greatest ever total number of officers. The Met is committed to making progress on all of its recruitment ambitions. We are working hard to replicate this success in attracting those from Black and multiple ethnic heritage communities to a career in the Met – so our workforce better reflects the communities we serve.

“As I lead reform at the Met, I would encourage you to come along to an outreach event in your area, where you can learn about the opportunities for a great career in the Met.”

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “This is an important achievement and I’m really pleased that we now have more women police officers than at any other time in London’s history.

“We know that there is further to go to make the Met more representative of the city it serves and to rebuild public confidence and trust in the police – particularly among women and girls and London’s Black communities.

“I have set the Met challenging targets in this area and the news that nearly one in three police officers in London are women is a significant step forward. These officers will play a big role in helping to restore trust and confidence in the police, improve the support for victims of crime, and build on the success we have made in driving down violence and crime in our city to build a safer London for everyone.

“The Met is currently recruiting, and I would encourage Londoners from all backgrounds – and particularly those under represented in the force - to apply and be part of a bigger and better Met.”

The increase within the Met workforce is reflected in the huge variety of different skills, characteristics and backgrounds of officers - all bringing their unique strengths and experiences into the job they do for Londoners day in and day out.

Many recruits have chosen to join from other professions, from university lecturers to professional athletes and entertainers to accountants and journalists.

Women are represented at every rank and in every role - whether responding to emergency calls, running complex investigations to tackle serious and organised crime, armed operations, supervising surveillance teams, or supporting victims of crime and abuse – to name but a few.

With more pathways than ever in place to provide entry routes, the organisation has worked hard to offer an array of initiatives that give women increased flexibility - a factor that research shows is key for women when they are considering career choices, as well as throughout their entire careers.

In 2019, the Met became the first police force to offer the chance to work part-time from point of entry, succeeding in attracting an applicant pool of 60% females. We also offer the exciting apprenticeship programme (PCDA) which offers the chance to earn an officer salary while being fully funded for a degree.

The first 150 recruits to the programme included a teaching assistant, a former prison officer and an athlete and 51% of the intake were female, with 29% from Black Asian and multiple ethnic heritage communities.

Women are also joining via the long established pathways of volunteering and working as a special constable with a view to progressing into the force. Returners and transferee routes also continue to prove popular with females.

Those who join will enjoy increased maternity benefits as well as the existing host of in-work benefits including the generous pension and annual leave allowance and continuous professional development opportunities.

A large variety of support networks are also in place, offering specialised advice on subjects ranging from baby loss and adoption to breast cancer and the menopause.

These include a complete support package for new parents, from pregnancy through to return, which includes a dedicated case manager for the individual and their manager, coaching workshops and an app to provide 24/7 support.

As part of wider flexibility enhancements to support employees at all stages of their Met journey, we have in addition introduced disability and carers’ ‘passports’, as well as a workplace adjustments central hub to deal with requests in the most speedy and efficient manner.

The latest positive workforce figures come on the back of the most recent set of Home Office uplift data released on Wednesday 20 October, showing that 15,343 officers have been recruited nationally from funding for the Police Uplift Programme.

The Met will continue to expand further throughout 2022 to 2023 as part of the Uplift programme, from government funding and Mayoral investment.

For more information on joining the Met, please visit https://www.met.police.uk/car/careers/

= All data figures are full time equivalent (FTE).

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