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Police's 'canteen culture'.

BLACK and Asian police officers still believe specialist squads are mired in a Life On Mars style "canteen culture" and are dominated by white middle-aged men, say equality chiefs.

Robbery, anti-terrorist and firearms units are perceived as a closed shop, only available to recruits whose face fits, says the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

Ethnic minority recruits say they are put off by a perceived "work hard, play hard, hard drinking culture" and "old-fashioned working practices".

The commission yesterday published a review of the police's attitude towards race and efforts to stamp out racism.

It has found good progress in employing more ethnic minority officers but a report by the Inspectorate of Constabulary released to the commission identified shortcomings in promoting them.

One black officer recalled applying for a job as a race and diversity trainer.

He said the head of equality and diversity training had said of his appointment: "That 's good; I got my black one."

Later, on learning the black officer was gay, the same man said: "You haven't got a wooden leg, have you? Then you'd have the full set."
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Publication:Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)
Date:Jan 12, 2009
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