A West Midlands police force has welcomed a significant increase in the number of applications to join its ranks from ethnic minorities.
Warwickshire Police said the number of black and minority individuals requesting application forms for jobs increased by 108 per cent in 2004/2005. The force sent 59 application forms to members of ethnic minority communities in 2003/2004.
This figure jumped to 123 in 2004/2005, with 64 completed application forms returned.
Warwickshire Police said the increase in applications was due to an effective advertising campaign.
Seamus Faulkner, an outreach recruitment officer, said: "This is excellent news and we will be working hard to ensure this trend continue.
"We are looking for the best candidates and by employing people from a variety of backgrounds we increase the range of experience and skills we can offer the community.
"Over the last year we have been encouraging more black and minority ethnic individuals to apply to become officers or staff because we believe we can engage more effectively with communities if our workforce reflects the diversity of Warwickshire."
Mr Faulkner said eight ethnic minority candidates had recently passed through the selection process and would be joining the force towards the end of the year.
A further 22 minority candidates would be attending an assessment centre in the autumn, he said.
Mr Faulkner added: "Once they've applied it's down to the individual to prove he or she has what it takes.
"Anyone who wants to join has to complete a rigorous selection procedure and will only get through on merit.
"We have a robust diversity policy which includes religion or belief as well as other forms of discrimination and candidates must demonstrate their understanding of diverse populations in Warwickshire. We also encourage more women, lesbian and gay individuals to apply," he said.