Greater Manchester Police (GMP) is “still an institutionally racist, sexist, homophobic and disablist organisation”, a report has claimed.
Former superintendent Martin Harding was asked by GMP Chief Constable Sir Peter Fahy to look at how the force’s recruitment policy reflects the community it serves.
Mr Harding, a founding member of the National Black Police Association, was damning in his assessment.
The executive summary said: “Evidence was uncovered that would suggest that GMP is still an institutionally racist, sexist, homophobic and disablist organisation.”
The report, Diversity in Recruitment, stated that gay officers had felt obliged to go “back into the closet” because of homophobic attitudes.
A lesbian officer in the firearms unit told how she felt “ostracised” when her sexuality became known and she had to move to another department.
Greater Manchester Police admits it needs to do a lot more when it comes to workplace equality.
In a statement to PinkNews.co.uk, Chief Constable Sir Peter Fahy said: “I commissioned this report to ensure GMP is doing everything it can to have a workforce that reflects the community it serves.
“Despite some significant effort in the past to attract diverse communities, we have not attracted the level of interest from local diverse communities that we need; if we had continued using the same approaches to recruitment that we had historically taken then it would have taken us until 2093 to get there – which clearly is unacceptable.
“Almost a year ago we embarked upon an ambitious recruitment drive that aims to create a more diverse workforce. This is even more challenging at a time of financial constraints but we are determined to do all we can to make a difference.
“We have tested different approaches to recruitment and achieved success in attracting candidates from local minority communities through a neighbourhood level recruitment drive.”
Sir Peter added: “This has significantly increased BME (Black Minority Ethnic) representation in certain aspects of recruitment, for example a recent intake of PCSOs had 32% BME representation. Should we continue to utilise these and other more effective approaches and achieve similar results, GMP could reflect the communities it serves by 2022 – some 70 years sooner than 2093.
“In reading the report it is pleasing to know that we are already achieving/delivering 40 of the 59 recommendations and we are now going through the remaining recommendations to look at future developments.”
Manchester Evening News also claims GMP tried to water down the report’s conclusion, removing the line that the force is “institutionally racist”, and replacing it with, “Barriers still exist for all protected groups under the Equality Act.”
Responding to the claims made in the paper, GMP told PinkNews.co.uk: “The report was produced in final draft format and on reviewing the recommendations; some revisions were required to correct factual inaccuracies, remove content that was out of the scope of the commissioned work, widen some recommendations to all strands of diversity and to improve the relevance of the document to GMP today.”
Greater Manchester Police was branded “institutionally racist” in 1998 by the then chief constable David Wilmot.
Five years later the BBC’s damning ‘Secret Policeman’ documentary exposed racism among trainees within a number of forces, including GMP.
It led to the resignation of six officers and a drive to recruit more black and Asian officers.