Damaging race claims likely to hit police recruitment

High-profile race discrimination accusations against the Metropolitan police will damage recruitment to forces nationwide, the Police Federation warned last week.

The organisation, which represents rank-and-file officers, said the media frenzy surrounding Yasmin Rehman and Tarique Ghaffur would put people off applying to join the police.

A Police Federation spokesman told Personnel Today: “I don’t think these cases do anything to help the police across the board.

“Regrettably, they can be damaging for any recruitment regardless of the age, gender or ethnicity considering a career in the police service. Until proven one way or another, there is a suggestion of unfairness or foul play.”

It was widely reported last week that Yasmin Rehman, a director of diversity within the Met Police’s territorial policing department, was planning to launch a race discrimination claim against her employer.

The news came just days after Tarique Ghaffur was put on gardening leave for the way he publicly announced his own discrimination claim.

A Metropolitan Police Service spokesman said: “The force continues to achieve an excellent level of recruitment from all backgrounds.

“It strongly refutes any accusation of racism. Despite significant media coverage surrounding a recent high-profile tribunal claim, a police officer recruitment event held on 30 August attracted more than 1,200 people, of whom 32% were black and minority ethnic candidates.”

The Police Federation agreeed that the Police Service had dramatically improved its attitude towards diversity in the past decade, and that each force now had mechanisms for staff to report inappropriate behaviour confidentially. One in five new police officers, and a quarter of all police community support officers are now from black and minority ethnic groups, he added.

The Metopolitan Police Authority is investigating whether Ghaffur’s televised press conference constituted misconduct.

In this clip, Pinsent Masons employment lawyer Jenny Wilson comments on the decision by Metropolitan Police commissioner Sir Ian Blair to put Tarique Ghaffur on garden leave.

 

 

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