London, Oct.7 : British Home Secretary Jacqui Smith has announced that the Gordon Brown Government will undertake a nationwide assessment of how ethnic minorities are treated by the police during recruitment drives as the race row surrounding the Metropolitan force continues.
According to The Mirror, Smith said that Police Minister Vernon Coaker would carry out a rapid, two-week examination of the recruitment and promotion prospects of minorities.
The move follows London mayor Boris Johnson's launch of an inquiry in to racism in the Met and the Metropolitan Black Police Association's (MetBPA) pledge to discourage minorities from working there.
Smith said she was "disappointed" by the move, and said the group's advertising campaign to discourage ethnic minorities applicants to the Met was "unhelpful".
She said: "We need a police service which understands the communities it serves and which represents those communities and the whole country - and that is what we should work together to achieve. That is why I have asked Policing Minister Vernon Coaker to assess ethnic minority recruitment and progression nationally across the police service."
"He will do this in conjunction with police representatives, including the Police Federation, Superintendent's Association, and ACPO and will report to me on any further action necessary within two weeks," Smith added.
The Home Office stressed the move was not a review, suggesting swift changes to recruitment practices and promotion policy are unlikely.