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Message From The Met BPA Chair: 'Operation Hotton'

Earlier this week, the IOPC (Independent Office for Police Conduct) published a series of recommendations after nine linked investigations found evidence of bullying and discrimination within the Met.

We (The Met BPA) are simply disgusted by the explicit nature of the racist, sexist, misogynistic conversations and views held by some of the officers involved.

We have attached the full 15 page report. Please be warned - it contains explicit language and views.

Sadly, we know that there are others who hold such views and continue to carry out their duties within the organisation.

From our work supporting our members through their experiences, we confirm that which the IOPC regional director has said

"Such events are not ‘historic’, nor are they isolated".

We also agree where the report says

“The behaviours we uncovered risked causing serious damage to the confidence and trust of public relationship”.

There is in fact no doubt about it, it has undone some of the valuable relationships that so many of us have spent years building and with communities.

For years the Met BPA have highlighted the mistreatment and discrimination against Black, Asian and minority ethnic colleagues and communities, only to be rebutted and gas lit.

We’ve been told time and time again that we need to ‘fit in’, ‘play the game’ or that our perceived abuse and discrimination is simply ‘banter’ or at most ‘clumsy’ behaviour by others.

The evidence revealed in this report speaks volumes about deliberate behaviours that contribute to institutional bias. This has to stop, as does the denial of it.

In agreement with the IOPC, the Met welcome the steps that are being taken to address cultural issues.

The Met will need to reassure us, our members and our communities, that officers in this report have not over policed those with protected characteristics. If this question is unanswered then disproportionality and procedural injustices cannot be ruled out.

Positive progress needs to be made as quickly as possible and we are ready to involve ourselves.

We appreciate that confidence remains low in many of our colleagues and communities and that the risk of disproportionate treatment is clear and present. It’s imperative the Met listens to those who they require consent to police. We will continue to be that voice.

We stand in unison with our fellow Staff Support Associations regarding this matter.

We are conversing and jointly holding the Met to account for that which they’ve had to apologise for this week.

So far we’ve had two meetings with Management Board. The Met BPA have made representations about the risk to confidence and trust and that a plan needs to be effected immediately.

We’ve pointed out that as well as equipping us with what we need to support our members, there must be responsibility taken for change and it needs to be visible from the very top if we’re to have any hope.

We continue to support many of you who witness and continue to experience discrimination. Baroness Casey’s review into culture, standards and behaviour is still pending and we will be at the forefront making representations on your behalf.

Lastly, I hope as time goes on we can empower even more of you all to stand and be counted for the value we bring and for the equality and equity we deserve.

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