In September 2016 the Equality and Human Rights Commission published the findings of their investigation into how the Metropolitan Police Service managed internal complaints of discrimination. Whilst the EHRC found no evidence that the MPS had committed unlawful acts, a number of recommendations were made and the MPS agreed to an improvement plan which would be monitored by the EHRC.
Since the EHRC investigation was initiated, the MPS has delivered a significant number of improvements. This has included introducing new policies, creating dedicated teams of specialists to respond to internal complaints of discrimination, launching a telephone helpline for staff and managers, training locally based mediators and grievance resolution champions, and implementing a new performance scorecard to measure success. The MPS is also investing in improvements to the way it records internal discrimination complaints so that it is better able to identify victimisation and has increased sanctions for those who are found to have victimised a colleague.
Over the next few months the MPS and EHRC will jointly work with the Home Office to look at ways in which regulatory guidance can be improved to help forces manage grievances and misconduct cases relating to discrimination.
The EHRC is encouraged by the changes the MPS is putting in place. The MPS is committed to ensuring that all staff are treated fairly and have confidence that concerns will be taken seriously and dealt with proportionally and professionally.
Cressida Dick, Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service, said:
"Ensuring that our staff and officers feel that they are treated fairly and that we are an inclusive organisation remains a priority for me as Commissioner; it has a direct link with how confident our communities feel.
"The scale of the challenge in such a large organisation has been significant but I am pleased with the progress we have made in implementing the recommendations of the EHRC investigation. I want the MPS to be an exemplar of good practice and someone that the EHRC can use as a role model for others. I welcome the effective dialogue and partnership that we have with the EHRC and look forward to working with them in the future."
David Isaac, Equality and Human Rights Commission Chair, said:
"Since our investigation the Metropolitan Police Service has shown great commitment in implementing the recommendations we put forward in our report and have made considerable progress. They recognise the need to provide the reassurance and confidence to staff that their complaints will be taken seriously and handled appropriately and have taken the necessary steps to make improvements.
"As the largest police service in the country we welcome their offer to work together to strengthen guidance for the police service in England and Wales on how to manage grievances and misconduct involving discrimination."
The Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime, Sophie Linden, said:
"This is an extremely important issue and I am pleased with the commitment the Met has shown to implementing these recommendations. Improvements are being made.
"As we set out in our Police and Crime Plan, no-one should feel that they are unfairly treated because of their gender, race or sexual orientation and we operate a zero-tolerance policy towards discrimination of any kind. It is vital for both officer wellbeing and wider public confidence that individuals feel secure enough to raise grievances, and we will continue to oversee the Met's plan to keep tackling this important issue."