Scottish Police urged to take ‘bold stance’ on diversity after staff survey

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This is a survey of current and former Scottish police officers found that 41% of those surveyed had experienced discrimination or harassment in the force.

A total of 542 officers responded to a survey about their experiences with equality and diversity in the Scottish Police.

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Just under half of respondents said they would not recommend the police for a career, while only 28% said they were satisfied with their training and development.

Scottish police need a ‘strong and bold’ stance on equality and diversity, a watchdog recommended.

The investigation was part of a larger report by HM Inspector of Constabulary in Scotland (HMICS) on how Scottish police have dealt with under-represented groups within the organization.

HMICS said survey respondents self-select and the results will not reflect everyone’s experience in the organization.

While more than half of those polled agreed the force was committed to equality, diversity and inclusion, nearly a third said they felt they “didn’t belong. not “.

Respondents listed the reasons why they would not recommend a career in law enforcement.

One said: “I have been sexually assaulted at work, like most of the female colleagues I have spoken to.

“I have also spent years being the butt of sexist ‘jokes’ and jokes, being asked about sexual practices in which I participate and so on.”

Another said: “Although there have been improvements since I joined the organization, it still looks a lot like a ‘boys club’ and I think the performance of women is much more closely watched than it is. men.”

Other respondents said race and ethnicity issues were the reasons they would not recommend a career in law enforcement.

One said: “Most people from ethnic minorities feel out of place here and feel that their skin color and accent is an obstacle to their progress.

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Another said: “The police are corrupt, racist and Islamophobic and I would never want my family and friends to go through what I did. “

Another respondent said there were “daily racial micro-aggressions” and a “pack-like canteen culture”.

Gill Imery, Scotland’s chief police inspector, said progress in recruiting people from under-represented fields had been made since his previous report in September 2020.

However, there is little visibility of under-represented groups in senior management, according to its report.

She said: ‘The inspection found evidence of a real commitment at the highest levels of the Scottish Police to ensure that the service is welcoming and inclusive.

“Where the evidence is less clear is the extent to which the strong message from the summit is translated into action which has a positive impact on the day-to-day experience of police officers and staff from under-represented groups working in Police Scotland.

“The limitations of the data available to help the department understand the impact of its activities, identify trends and make improvements was a recurring theme of this inspection. “

Its report recommended that “the Scottish Police affirm a strong and bold position in their external and internal communications on issues of equality and diversity”.

Responding to the report, Deputy Police Chief Fiona Taylor said, “This report recognizes our commitment to building a service with a culture based on our values ​​so that we can better reflect, represent and serve the public.

“Dame Elish Angiolini’s independent review highlighted the depth of these challenges and we know, through our engagement with our own staff associations, that there is a lot of work to be done.

“While HMICS recognizes the limitations of the investigation conducted as part of this inspection, the police chief made it clear that police chiefs must allow and support those who speak out so that they can be heard.

“We have implemented a recruitment and promotion process based on our values.

“Our recruitments are more representative of the company than in the past and our leadership training will promote culture change. “

Liberal Democrat MP Liam McArthur said the report should challenge Scottish police to do more to tackle condescending behavior and derogatory comments.

He said: “This long overdue report shows that ignorance is not happiness.

“No one should have to deal with derogatory comments about their gender or any inappropriate behavior in their workplace. “


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