MPS launches `robust` action plan to tackle disproportionality in misconduct investigations

The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) has made a commitment to tackle the uneven number of black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) officers being investigated for misconduct.

Sep 1, 2017

The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) has made a commitment to tackle the uneven number of black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) officers being investigated for misconduct. Analysis commissioned by the force and undertaken by the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC) over a five-year period found BAME officers are twice as likely to be subject to misconduct allegations. Between 2010 and 2015, there was an average rate of 4.96 allegations of misconduct per 100 BAME officers, against a rate of 2.46 for non-BAME officers. It found that while BAME officers make up 14 per cent of the MPS, they accounted for 21.5 per cent of those subjected to misconduct allegations. These allegations are more likely to be substantiated than those against a white colleague. In response, the MPS has launched an action plan, including training and support for local supervisors to informally deal with complaints as quickly as possible, and a dedicated helpline where they can seek guidance on making decisions. It will also improve the monitoring of misconduct cases and change the recording and reporting process to ensure an informal resolution has been considered before an allegation is formalised with the Directorate of Professional Standards. London Mayor Sadiq Khan said: “Everyone has the right to be treated fairly and with respect, regardless of their ethnicity or background – and this should include all Met police officers, staff and volunteers. “It is simply unacceptable that a disproportionately high number of BAME officers are facing misconduct investigations and the MPS commissioner shares my concerns. “I welcome the Met’s robust action plan to address these serious issues and ensure real change throughout the organisation.” The MPS’s action plan is part of the Leading for London programme, launched to tackle discrimination and proportionality within the force, in partnership with the Equalities and Human Rights Commission. The MPS claims to be making fundamental changes to how grievances and allegations of discrimination raised by officers and staff are dealt with, including the establishment of a new Discrimination Investigation Unit within the Directorate of Professional Standards. Deputy Assistant Commissioner Fiona Taylor said the MOPAC research was commissioned because the MPS was concerned about the disproportionate number of BAME officers being investigated. “Now that work has been completed we are committed to redress the balance, and we have updated the Black Police Association about what we are doing and why,” she added. “Although any sanction following a substantiated allegation is likely to be the same for all officers we have to understand and address why more BAME officers are ending up in this position. “This is certainly not where the Met wants to be, and I’m pleased to say that we have made inroads in resolving the problems already and remain committed to moving this work forward quickly. We will fully evaluate the progress this initiative makes. “Through our Leading for London programme we will support our line managers to make difficult decisions and to promote learning rather than penalising officers and staff. We are also mindful that we must maintain the confidence of our workforce to raise issues and concerns and that they will be treated properly and fairly.”

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