Met police chief defiant on diversity despite race discrimination tribunal

Sir Ian Blair, the commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, has defended the service’s strong stance on diversity following a tribunal ruling which claimed he had left white officers “out to dry” in a race discrimination tribunal.

He said the Met was “not for turning” about the value it placed on the importance of respect for diversity and rejected a call from the Police Federation to apologise to the officers involved.

His comments come after detective constable Tom Hassell, detective inspector Paul Whatmore and detective sergeant Colin Lockwood won their employment tribunal in East London.

They had been found guilty of racial discrimination by a police disciplinary panel, following comments made by Hassell and the failure of the other two officers to intervene.

The panel said no further action should be taken but two of the officers were suspended. Following their successful appeal to the employment tribunal the officers were awarded a total of £90,000.

The commissioner said the real issue was not about this individual employment tribunal case but about policing London.

“Knowledge about diversity was not only a moral value but also an operational necessity for the Metropolitan Police Service,” said Blair. “The service could not deliver effective policing, such as tackling gun crime and other violent and serious offences, without it.”

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