A screenshot of a recruitment campaign film of the Berlin Police. More than one third of recruits in the state’s police have a family history of immigration – approximately the same ratio as in the general population. /Photo: Polizei Berlin

German police have become more diverse — new report

For the fourth time the MEDIENDIENST INTEGRATION conducted a research on diversity in the German police forces. Over the past years an increasing number of young people with an immigration background joined the police – partly due to successful recruitment-campaigns. By Fabio Ghelli

Among the 46.500 employees of the German Federal Police (Bundespolizei) only 1,600 declare to have an immigration background. That’s about 3.4 percent of all employees. Still, that’s three times more than ten years ago. The number of officers with an immigration background in the “Bundespolizei” who don’t make their immigration background public is probably much higher, said a spokesperson for the Federal Police. This is one of the main findings of a research conducted by the MEDIENDIENST INTEGRATION among all police forces in Germany.

Over the past decade, 11 out of 16 regional police forces (Landespolizei / Landeskriminalamt) have also started polling applicants and new recruits about their immigration background. In most regions that have been collecting data on the subject, the quota of applicants as well as new recruits with a family history of immigration has increased. All data on immigration background is based on voluntary polls conducted among the employees.

© Mediendienst Integration

This is partly due to a series of recruitment-campaigns aimed at young people with an immigration background. As of today, 14 out of 16 regional police forces have been conducting similar campaigns – using spokespeople with an immigration background, organizing recruitment-days in schools and offering information in various languages.

Nonetheless, as of 2020, the percentage of new recruits with an immigration background is still below the percentage of people with an immigration background in the general population. The only exception is the city and region of Berlin: here more than one third of recruits have a family history of immigration – approximately the same quota as in the general population.

According to a study published in 2019 by the MEDIENDIENST INTEGRATION, a more diverse police force doesn’t guarantee a better working environment for police officers with an immigration background. Although they are encouraged to join the force on the strength of their multicultural background, young police officers with a family history of immigration are often compelled to assimilate to the majority.

© Mediendienst Integration

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