Met Spends £450m On Diversity

Metro.co.uk, October 27, 2006

Scotland Yard faces criticism today after it was revealed it spent almost £450 million on promoting ‘equality and diversity’ in the past three years.

The vast majority of the £450 million figure was spent on officers and staff who work with minority communities and research issues such as black-on-black gun crime and child protection.

The spending, which includes £187 million on recruitment, training and research within minority communities in the past year alone, takes up six per cent of the overall Met budget, according to a report in today’s Evening Standard.

The budget has also gone towards crime fighting and prevention.

The ‘equalities-related expenditure’ covered not just race issues, but those of gender, faith, disability, age and sexuality. Since 2003, more than £21 million has been spent on interpreters’ fees.

However, new figures show the number of race-discrimination claims against officers made by colleagues or the public rose by 24 per cent from 259 in 2003/4 to 320 in 2005/6.

In the latest case this week, Pc Wayne Bell was ordered to resign for making monkey noises at a suspect in custody at Plumstead police.

He was acquitted of a racially aggravated public order offence at Bow Street magistrates court but ordered to resign for three breaches of the force’s code of conduct.

A second officer has also been ordered to quit for failing to report Pc Bell’s behaviour.

The statistics were obtained by the London Assembly Liberal Democrats.

Graham Tope, a Lib-Dem policing spokesman and member of the Metropolitan Police Authority, told the Standard: ‘The rise in the number of reported racist incidents against police officers is concerning.

‘The Met and the MPA should look into this to establish whether this increase is a result of the complaints procedure being made more accessible to the public or if it is the sign of a more worrying trend.’

The Stephen Lawrence Inquiry in 2002 labelled the Met ‘institutionally racist’ and led to an overhaul in its approach to equality and diversity.

Every unit at Scotland Yard now addresses the ‘quality and diversity implications’ of everything they do.

In 2004/5, the cost of Operation Trident, which tackles gun crime in the black community, was £24 million. For child protection, it was £37.6million.

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