London, May 19 : Black and Asian police officers are not being considered for top jobs in the force, according to a senior police chief. The Chief Constable of Cheshire constabulary, Peter Fahy, admitted that officers from ethnic minorities were being unfairly discriminated against.
Of the more than 200 officers holding the rank of assistant chief constable or higher, only seven are from ethnic minorities.
Fahy said promotions in organisations such as the police were often based on whether the applicant's face fitted, and said fairer selection is needed in to get black and Asian officers into the top ranks.
Fahy, 44, was until recently the spokesman for race and diversity on the board of the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) and has previously suggested that ethnic minorities be fast-tracked for promotion ahead of white colleagues.
Metropolitan Police Commander Ali Dizaei, who is president of the National Black Police Association, responded to Fahy's comments by saying that the police was 'institutionally racist' and chose 'acceptable not suitable' candidates for higher ranks.
He said: "It is less institutionally racist than 10 years ago. Have we got a clean bill of health now? No. Is it within our grasp? Possibly."