London: Scotland Yard on Monday announced a major shift in its recruitment policy, which stipulates that any future job applicants to its force must be London-based, to make the service more representative of those it serves.
Starting from August 1, only those who have lived in the city for at least three of the last six years will be considered for a job at Britain`s largest police force.
The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) believes the move will make the service more representative of those it serves.
"The introduction of this new criteria for applicants to the MPS will help ensure the force is more resilient and more reflective of the city it serves," the Met said in a statement.
"The new policy means that from Friday, 1 August only candidates who have lived in Greater London for three of the last six years will now be eligible to apply at entry level." the statement said.
"This reflects a shared ambition by the Met and the Mayor, Boris Johnson to recruit a workforce that reflects and understands London`s diversity and has the skills and cultural competencies needed to police a great global city," it added.
The policy change will not affect serving officers, existing MPS police staff, members of the Special Constabulary, or existing police officers seeking to transfer from other UK forces.
"It is vital that London`s police force reflects the city it serves. Recent recruitment rounds have attracted a more diverse pool of applicants, but by focusing exclusively on Londoners from now on, we can achieve our goals more quickly," said the Mayor of London.
"By putting Londoners first, we can fill the Met`s ranks with the talented recruits who understand the people and culture of this great global city the best", he said.
"Every police officer is always and will always be selected on merit, but there is more than enough talent in this great city to give the Met all the devoted and skilled new recruits they need to go on keeping Londoners safe," he added.
Met Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe said, "London is a 24/7 global city with a dynamic and intensity not seen in other parts of the UK. And with London`s population increasing and becoming even more diverse it is essential that our workforce is able to maintain the trust and confidence of London`s communities".
"Recruiting Constables with a knowledge and understanding of this reality through living in the capital makes sense to help us achieve this aim", he said.
"They will have a better understanding of local issues, knowledge of local communities and an inbuilt insight into London`s varied cultures. We need great talent to help us fight crime", he added.