Police were accused of discrimination last night after barring white men from workshops for aspiring officers.
British Transport Police holds the events to help recruits with their application forms and assessments by coaching them on questions and staging mock tests.
But the events in Manchester, Birmingham and London are open only to ‘women and black or ethnic minority’ applicants.
British Transport Police has been accused of discrimination after barring white men from workshops for aspiring officers (pictured, officers patrol Tottenham Court Road Tube station)
The force, which is responsible for policing the railways nationwide, said the ‘positive action’ is entirely legal and is designed to boost the number of frontline officers from under-represented minority groups.
But one candidate accused police chiefs of discrimination and claimed that a serving officer believes these ‘quotas’ are leading to ‘sub-standard recruits’.
The man, aged 48 and from Stoke, said: ‘I am a white heterosexual male. How can a public service blatantly support this kind of discrimination and inequality in 2017? It has made me consider withdrawing my application. People should be treated the exact same. This is discrimination.
‘I feel it’s discrimination to me as a white man. They want to fulfil their quota of a certain person to fulfil their public appearance.
‘Candidates should be judged on merit. It should be the best person for the job.
‘Just because I am a white man doesn’t mean I can’t connect with people from other groups.
‘I have a friend who is in the police and when I told him he said they were getting substandard officers through because the BTP is so hell-bent on fulfilling their public image.’
The two-hour workshop is advertised as a ‘Police Officer Application and Assessment Centre Workshop’. It offers candidates help with their application form and an assessment day which follows.
The workshop includes ‘coaching through the competency based questions, assessment centre preparation, and question and answer sessions’. There is also a chance to meet police officers and take part in ‘practice sessions to complete the ability tests’.
The website page states: ‘British Transport Police understand that it’s only natural and indeed sensible to want to prepare for the recruitment process.
‘To support you through both your application and subsequent assessment centre, we would like to invite you to a workshop.
‘In line with our Positive Action initiative we are initially only offering this workshop to women and Black/Minority Ethnic groups who are currently under-represented in the Force.’
BTP, which is responsible for policing the railways nationwide, said the ‘positive action’ is designed to boost the number of frontline officers from under-represented minority groups (pictured, an officer on patrol at Oxford Circus Tube station)
According to the latest figures, BTP employs 259 black and ethnic minority officers, around 10 per cent of its warranted workforce. Senior officers want to increase the proportion to 15 per cent. It also wants to increase the number of women in senior posts.
Simon Downey, director of capability and resources at British Transport Police, said it is ‘vitally important’ the force ‘reflects the diverse community that we serve’.
He added: ‘We’ve carefully studied the reasons why there might be barriers preventing people from these backgrounds applying to the force and are taking steps to help address this.
‘These workshops are designed specifically to speak directly to these groups and to increase the number of applications from them, ensuring our force is more representative of the communities who use the rail network.
‘Every application we receive will be judged on their individual merits and no one will be discriminated against or favoured because of their ethnicity or gender.’