The Metropolitan Police is institutionally racist, sexist, and homophobic, according to a report published in the Telegraph today.
Lady Casey, who carried out the review, also stated that the force had lost the trust and confidence of the people it is supposed to keep safe. And that recruitment and vetting systems are poor and that another Wayne Couzens or David Carrick could be hiding in the ranks.
Lady Casey highlights a concerning fall in front-line policing numbers and reveals that almost one-third of officers on the beat have less than two years of experience.
Failing to change
The force has not done enough to root out predatory sex offenders in the ranks, and violence against women and girls has not been taken as seriously as other forms of violence. The Met also struggles to embed good behaviour among its officers and fails to guard against those who seek power to abuse it.
Twenty-four years after the watershed 1999 Macpherson report, which investigated the murder of the Black teenager Stephen Lawrence, the Met remains institutionally racist, sexist, misogynistic, and homophobic, says the report. However, the Met Commissioner, Sir Mark Rowley, denies the use of the term “institutional” as it is ambiguous and political.
The report is a damning indictment of the Met Police. Still, it is not alone in its failings to embed diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I), raising important questions about why progress is so slow in UK workforces.
This can be attributed to several factors. One is the failure of organisations to commit to addressing the issues of DE&I. While many companies have diversity statements, they fail to implement them, leading to a lack of diversity in the workforce.
Another factor is the lack of diversity in leadership positions, which hinders the implementation of policies that promote DE&I.
Finally, there is a lack of accountability in organisations that allow discriminatory practices to continue.
To avoid the Met Police’s mistakes, businesses must recognise that DE&I are not just box-ticking exercises. They require a complete overhaul of their cultures, policies, procedures and practices.
Embedding good behaviour
British businesses must ensure that recruitment and vetting systems are robust and bias-free. Training must ensure that employees understand the importance of DE&I and how to avoid discrimination, harassment, and bias.
Businesses should also embed good behaviour among employees, from the board level downwards, and create a culture of accountability and transparency, where employees are encouraged to report concerns and are confident that they will be dealt with appropriately.
The Met’s report findings indicate that DE&I training is not enough if the leadership does not back it up. Hence British businesses must ensure that diversity, equity and inclusion are embedded in their mission, values and strategy.
Companies should regularly review and analyse their workforce data, set targets for improvement, and measure progress. They should also invest in and support employee resource groups, provide mentoring and sponsorship programmes to underrepresented groups, and celebrate successes in DE&I.
The report on the Metropolitan Police highlights the need for significant changes to address DE&I issues in the UK workforce. Companies must actively promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in their workforce, set goals, implement strategies, and create accountability to ensure that diversity is embedded in their culture.
Failure to do so will not only hamper progress but could also lead to catastrophic consequences.