2020 saw the murder of George Floyd by police in America, the profile of the Black Lives Matter movement rise and the failures of police forces globally relating to racial inequality exposed. It highlighted the need for a representative policing workforce, something this country has struggled to achieve.
Police Now's mission is to attract, recruit and train outstanding graduates with leadership potential to be inspirational detectives and police officers who can make a lasting difference in some of the most vulnerable communities in England and Wales. In 2020 we committed to recruiting more graduates from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds.
Our strategy was underpinned by being brave and truthful about the realities of policing. We built a bold campaign addressing head-on the difficult realities preventing underrepresented groups from joining the police. We showed real people's experiences of policing, through police officers on our programmes and external activists passionate about racial inequality. And we delivered targeted campaigns to graduates from ethnic minority backgrounds and their families, to break down the barriers that were preventing them from joining.
As a result, our 2020/21 cohort is our most representative to date with 25% of the 600 graduates that have or will shortly start our programmes identifying as Black, Asian and minority ethnic. It's the largest ethnic minority diversity to be achieved in national police recruitment in this country, a significant increase on our previous year's 17%, and more than double the 11% hired through direct recruitment into police forces.