Police race schemes not meeting legal standards

Nine in 10 police forces’ race equality schemes fail to meet the minimum legal standards, according to the interim findings of a formal investigation by the Commission for Racial Equality (CRE).


Police forces and police authorities have a statutory duty under the Race Relations Act to implement a racial equality scheme. But the CRE found that three authorities had no scheme at all, while assessments of schemes run by 15 forces and five authorities showed that only one complied with the law.


Sir David Calvert-Smith, head of the investigation, said the initial findings show that the police service “has a long way to go” in addressing racial equality. He also warned of a “widespread culture of fear”, where many people with legitimate grievances were afraid to raise their concerns.


According to calculations for the Police Federation – the body with statutory responsibility to represent all officers below the rank of superintendent in all matters affecting their welfare and efficiency – the average cost of an employment tribunal involving a police officer is almost £117,000 – £5,000 of which is accounted for by the tribunal award.


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