POLICE stations could soon have prayer rooms in a pioneering move to attract new recruits from minority ethnic groups.

The facility has just opened at Greater Manchester Police's headquarters in Stretford and, if the idea proves successful, it will be extended throughout the force's 11 divisions.

Staff will be able to go to the room for prayer meetings during their lunch break or use it for quiet contemplation when off duty.

Assistant Chief Constable Vincent Sweeney is delighted with the new facility.

He said: "The area is now a vibrant cosmopolitan area reflecting the diverse cultures of many people.

"In order to reflect the multi-cultural nature of modern policing, it is essential that we attract officers from as many different backgrounds as possible."

The need for an area arose when a Muslim officer was seen carrying out his prayers under a stairwell at GMP's headquarters.