Met says "Au Revoir" to second language recruitment plan
The Met has dropped second language skills as a requirement for new recruits, according to a report in www.policeoracle.com.
In the last financial year, the force took on two intakes of probationers who had to be fluent in a second language to apply.
Wannabe officers were required to speak one of 14 tongues.
Current applicants to the Met are no longer required to have the attribute, but it is a “desirable criteria”.
Met Police Federation chairman Ken Marsh told PoliceOracle.com he thought it was a good idea to drop the stipulation.
He said: “We welcome as much diversity of officers as we possible so that the police reflect the diversity of the city.
“We never thought it was the way forward to demand a second language, we actually thought it would restrict BME [black and minority ethnic] recruitment.”
Some had previously pointed out that many black Londoners, including those of Caribbean heritage, were barred from applying by the second language rule.
Mr Marsh added: “We think it’s more straightforward to just let people apply to become officers and then you can select who you want or need from them.”
A force spokesman said the recruitment “pilots” had been “part of our look and feel campaign to increase representation of our workforce, acknowledging that there are over 300 languages spoken in London”.
She added: “Our current recruitment campaign is open and the criteria specifies that applicants must have lived in London for at least three years of the last six, as well as the standard eligibility that can be found on the website.
“In addition, we have included a second language as desirable criteria, we maintain that having a second language is incredibly beneficial but it is not currently part of the eligibility.
“We have not ruled out running future language recruitment campaigns, we will do this as and when we feel there is a demand.”