Sexism and homophobia endemic to UK police service

Sexism and homophobia are still widespread in the police service, leaving hundreds of men and women feeling excluded and discriminated against, according to a study for the Home Office.

More than 20 years of effort to rid the service of its macho ‘canteen culture’ have failed to bring substantial change, the report concluded.

The use of racist language has, however, almost disappeared because officers know it will lead to disciplinary action.

The consequence of senior officers focusing on the issue of race is that sexism and homophobia remain widespread, the study found.

It discovered sexist language and homophobic comments and attitudes in every area of police work.

“Sexist language and behaviour was all but endemic within the police service,” the report said.

“Women, minority ethnic and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender officers continued in large numbers to feel excluded, uncomfortable and discriminated against,” it added.

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