Watchdog warns police over sexism

Male
police officers in the UK have been branded as ‘sexists’ by an official
watchdog, and accused of sexually harassing female colleagues to such an extent
that they would be sacked in any other profession.

The
Police Complaints Authority (PCA) said the issue was part of a growing problem
of poor discipline among officers despite repeated warnings about their
behaviour.

The
PCA also criticised lenient punishment for sexist officers, who often escaped
with a fine rather than dismissal, which would be the case in other jobs.

The
report even questioned the use of men as family liaison officers, as they were
found to have formed “inappropriate relationships” with vulnerable women. PCA
deputy chairman Ian Bynoe said he was surprised that officers remained in the
force once allegations against them had been proved.

“In
other walks of life that behaviour would be viewed as entirely unacceptable,”
he said.

 The number of women making complaints against
male officers has risen from 15 per cent in 1993 to 23 per cent today, although
only a small proportion were of a sexual nature.

 The report also revealed a 5 per cent rise in
the number of misconduct investigations over the past five years.

l
Diversity in the police is also under scrutiny, with the Metropolitan Black
Police Association advising ethnic minorities not to join the force, following
the collapse of the case against superintendent Ali Dizaei over corruption
charges.

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