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Warning: This is archived material and may be out of date. The Metropolitan Police Authority has been replaced by the Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime (MOPC).

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Mayor welcomes Race and Faith Report

The Mayor of London Boris Johnson has welcomed the publication of the Race and Faith report, which he commissioned to explore diversity issues within the Metropolitan Police Service. The report was presented to the Mayor this evening (7 July 2010) by Cindy Butts, chair of the independent Inquiry panel.

The report makes a series of recommendations to improve equalities and address diversity issues in the Met and create a new vision for the future of London’s police service.

Mayor Boris Johnson said:

“To deliver successful policing in the capital, we have to get equalities and diversity issues right. It is encouraging that the Met's workforce is now more representative of all Londoners and the Metropolitan Police Authority in particular has played a pivotal role in implementing the recommendations from the Stephen Lawrence report.
“The reports asks ‘have we discovered a wholly dysfunctional, institutionally racist organisation, riddled with conscious and unconscious bias and prejudice? And concludes ‘no, unquestionably we have not’. I welcome this finding, but I urge against complacency and the MPA will now consider closely the recommendations of the report. I thank the panel for rising to the challenge to find a new vision for a stronger future for London’s police service.”

Cindy Butts, Metropolitan Police Authority member and chair of the independent panel said:

“It was a great honour and responsibility to be asked by the Mayor to lead this Inquiry. I would like to pay tribute to the panel members, to all those who gave evidence or took part in focus groups - for some it was an emotional and draining process - and to our reference group.
“Following on from the Inquiry panels’ emerging findings published in September 2009, the Met addressed some of the concerns the panel had identified, but there is still much to do.
“We encourage the Met, along with the MPA, to embrace the panels’ recommendations and ensure all steps are made to implement them. The Met has much to be proud of in championing diversity. But it would be wrong to relax and we are determined that momentum should be maintained.”


On 6 October 2008, Boris Johnson, Chairman of the MPA, invited Cindy Butts to chair an independent inquiry into race and faith issues in the MPS. An interim report was brought to the authority for discussion and endorsement in September 2009. The panel published its final report on 7 July 2010.


An independent inquiry panel carried out an inquiry into race and faith within the MPS in relation to employment. The panel examined the current position of the organisation in order to establish what has changed as a result of lessons learnt from the past, identifying success and good practice and further opportunities to build upon this. The inquiry was also an opportunity to review the MPA oversight role and make recommendations for improvement.

It was not the intention to repeat previous investigations around race and diversity issues. The inquiry sought to establish what is still required in order to achieve real cultural change and facilitate the development of a police service that promotes open dialogue on diversity issues and provides a safe working environment for all officers and staff.

There has been much press coverage of how the MPS deals with race and faith issues. This is of great concern to the MPS, MPA, officers and staff within the MPS regardless of background and we cannot ignore the potential for internal difficulties to reverberate beyond the police service and impact upon community police relations in London.

Having the confidence of all London’s communities is essential and it is even more crucial when one considers the two major policing difficulties facing London today; namely, combating terrorism and stemming the number of gun and knife crime murders within London. Both of these issues require the complete trust and confidence of London’s diverse communities and we cannot afford to weaken the relationship between them and the police service. We can only tackle gun, knife crime and terrorism if the police together with London’s diverse communities work hand in hand.

The Police and Justice Act (2006) places a positive duty on police authorities to promote equality and diversity within the police force maintained for its area as of March 2008. The Inquiry is critical piece of work for MPA in meeting this new statutory duty.

The MacPherson Inquiry into the death of Stephen Lawrence, published in February 1999, was a turning point for the way race issues were dealt with in the police service. Lord MacPherson made 70 recommendations, 39 of which were directed towards the police service. These included identifying the importance of having a police service that represents the communities it serves and the importance of increasing number of Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) staff at senior levels in public services, in particular in the police service.

Since then the police service nationally and the MPS in particular, has put considerable effort into addressing the recommendations made by MacPherson. Whilst progress has undoubtedly been made, several other reviews have been conducted, prompted for example by the BBC programme ‘The Secret Policeman’ in 2005, which have caused concern about the extent to which the recommendations have been mainstreamed.

The MPS has invested heavily in activity aimed at building trust and confidence with London’s diverse communities, both externally, through for example establishing a network of Independent Advisory Groups, and internally by establishing positive action programmes aimed at improving representation of BME staff at all ranks within the police service.

During that time (1999 – 2008), the proportion of officers that come from a BME background has more than doubled (from 3.9% (1015) to 8.3% (2581)). The proportion of new recruits is significantly higher, and the proportion of BME police community support officers (PCSOs) and special constables significantly exceeds the BME economically active population in London.

Despite the successes achieved, challenges remain. Some communities remain under-represented, and success rates for BME candidates at police assessment centres remain lower than those for white candidates. Progression through the ranks has yet to show significant improvement, and while this is in part due to the time it takes to progress through the ranks, concerns are also raised by staff support associations and others about the fairness in the system. Retention amongst BME officers is also lower than their white counterparts. The MPS has undertaken considerable research into the drivers / barriers to recruitment, progression and retention and has developed programmes aimed at addressing the findings.

The inquiry will focus on race and faith as this is where recent issues have arisen. This is not to diminish the importance of, or the MPA’s commitment to other equality strands. It is recognised that there may be read across of the issues raised within the Inquiry in relation to gender, disability, sexual orientation and age as well as the compound effect of multiple discrimination. This will be highlighted and where appropriate, recommendations made.

Terms of reference


Central to the Inquiry will be to understand the firsthand employment experiences of black and ethnic minority (BME) staff and officers within the MPS, namely in terms of recruitment, retention, career development and managing difference.

The inquiry will examine the progress made by the MPS as a result of a number of investigations into race within the police, most notably:

  • the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry Report, which reaches its 10th anniversary in February 2009
  • the Commission for Racial Equality (now Equality and Human Rights Commission) Formal Investigation into the Police Service in England and Wales published in March 2005
  • the Morris Inquiry, commissioned by the MPA which published its report and recommendations in December 2004
  • the MPA’s Talent Management Scrutiny published in 2007

Bearing in mind the considerable amount of scrutiny into employment matters, both within the MPS and the police service overall, it is apposite to examine police officer and staff experiences from 2005 in order to evaluate the impact of this work.

Whilst it is not the intention of the inquiry to revisit previous reviews in their entirety, it is important to understand what has and hasn’t worked as a result of recommendations made. It will also help to determine if the approach taken by the MPS as a result of such reviews has been the most beneficial to achieving cultural change.

The inquiry will also consider issues that are not directly in the control of the MPA and MPS e.g. the NPIA People Strategy, the role of the Senior Appointments Panel and the Strategic Command Course. Where relevant the MPA will make recommendations aimed at other bodies.


The Inquiry will explore the following 5 themes. (NB. The questions set out under each of the themes are example lines of enquiry and should not be regarded as a complete and exhaustive list)

Leadership & direction

  • Who has the overarching responsibility for race, faith and wider diversity issues within the Metropolitan Police Service? Does diversity have the right profile within the organisation and at what level of seniority?
  • What do we expect from the leaders of the MPS both ACPO officers and Senior Management staff?
  • Who are the drivers for delivering culture change e.g. Diversity and Citizen Focus Directorate and Human Resources?
  • How does the MPS build the capacity of its leaders and how effective is this?
  • How does the organisation build organisational confidence on race, faith and wider diversity issues?
  • What is the process for dealing with the organisational impact and community/public impact of high profile cases involving race?

Communication and relationships

  • How does the organisation communicate and build positive relationships with all staff and officers and how effective is this?
  • How does the service test the ‘health’ of the organisation – especially BME staff and officers?
  • What role is played by staff support associations? What is their relationship with MPS leadership? What value do they provide to their members, the wider organisation and London’s communities as a whole?
  • What role is played by other representative bodies such as the Police Federation and Trade Unions?

Organisational development and learning

  • What factors have contributed to organisational successes?
  • What are the drivers and barriers to achieving cultural change around race, faith and diversity?
  • How does the MPS embed a people focussed approach; does the organisation understand the value of a diverse work force (both institutionally and operationally)?
  • How does the MPS learn from elsewhere and what comparators exist within the police service, other public sector bodies and the private sector?
  • What learning can be gained the experience of the Police Service of Northern Ireland?

Work force development (recruitment, retention, progression)

  • What is the current demographic profile in relation to recruitment, retention and progression? How has the profile changed since 2005?
  • Is recruitment activity consistent across all business groups – how accessible are specialist areas? What learning can be gained from the PSCO recruitment experience?
  • What processes are in place to promote career development? Where the examples of success and what are the barriers?
  • How are positive action and career development initiatives applied in practice? Are they making a difference? What is available and to whom? How are they accessed? Are these initiatives helping the MPS to get the best out of its people and are they value for money?

Managing behaviour

  • What is the capacity of managers in managing difference within the MPS – both informal and formal practices?
  • Does a comparative analysis of discipline outcome show that BME staff dealt with fairly and in the same way as their white counterparts?
  • Is the Fairness at Work procedure delivering what it was intended to deliver? Do staff and officers have confidence in this process?
  • How does the organisation learn from both discipline and ET cases, which cases have held the organisation to account?


  1. Assess the extent to which there is a common understanding of diversity within the organisation and how it translates to the employment experience within the MPS.
  2. Assess the extent to which there is effective leadership and a co-ordinated approach on issues of race and faith.
  3. Determine if there are appropriate structures and resources are in place across all business groups and at B/OCU level to deliver the diversity agenda internally.
  4. Determine the confidence levels of managers across the organisation in managing issues of race and faith and examine the support and training provided.
  5. Evaluate the organisational response to diversity against the personal experiences of BME police staff and officers.
  6. Examine the MPA’s oversight role in relation to diversity and equality within the MPS
  7. Identify any gaps in the current approach that need to be addressed
  8. Examine work undertaken to address internal racial disproportionality in managing behaviour.
  9. Identify internal good practice and learning to be shared across the organisation.
  10. Identify appropriate external comparators and good practice.
  11. Consider national programmes not directly in the control of the MPS and MPA relevant to race and faith and the impact on MPS Diversity Strategy.
  12. To publish a report with its findings and recommendations


The Inquiry will focus on employment within the MPS; operational and service delivery elements of policing will not be examined. The inquiry will not consider current or pending cases of individuals challenging the force on the grounds of race or faith discrimination.


Cindy Butts, an independent member of the police authority will chair the Inquiry. A panel of external experts will be convened to support her. The panel will focus on gathering information to answer questions relating to the identified themes. Panel-led sessions will, where possible, be held in public.
The panel will be supported by a team of officers who will gather information in several ways:

  • Taking oral and written submissions, harnessing the experience and expertise of a broad range of individuals and organisations from the MPS, the public sector and the private sector.
  • Gaining a wide range of staff experience through facilitated focus groups (consideration is also been given to whether a staff survey is possible)
  • Analysis of workforce data in key areas (e.g. recruitment, retention, discipline)
  • Background research and identification of best practice.

An Inquiry Reference Group will also be established to test, challenge and inform the work of the inquiry.


The Inquiry will deliver a written report setting out:

  • What was reviewed and why;
  • How the review was undertaken (including witness list);
  • Findings
  • Conclusions
  • Recommendations for the MPS, MPA and/or others with rationale;
  • Next steps.


It is anticipated that the Inquiry can be delivered within MPA resources, using staff from the Oversight and Review team. It is anticipated that extra support may be required to aid the delivery of the facilitated workshops. Panel members will be provided with a small honorarium. The budget is unlikely to exceed £100k.


This inquiry has been instigated in response to a series of difficult and sensitive events. The sensitivities in the relationship between the MPS and staff support associations will have to be very carefully managed by the Panel. The authority needs to be aware of the potential reputational risks associated with the Inquiry, particularly in respect of the recommendations it makes. As noted above there have been several reviews in this area, yet it appears problems remain. One of the challenges for the panel will be to understand the barriers to and drivers for change in order to deliver a product that enables the organisation to move forward positively. This includes considering the oversight role of the MPA.

Managing staff expectations will also be a key challenge. The panel needs to identify mechanisms that ensure confidentiality is assured to those participating in staff focus groups.

The MPS is dealing with a number ongoing employment issues (tribunals and otherwise). The Inquiry needs to be very clear that it is not addressing individual “live” cases. Nevertheless, when publishing findings, the timing of employment tribunals needs to be carefully considered. The panel may also wish to reconvene once these cases have been completed, in order to consider any new evidence arising out of Tribunal judgements.

Format for the inquiry

Draft timetable

Time Description
31 October Member consultation on terms of reference (TOR)
November November Consultation with key stakeholders (TOR)
November Final Agreement of Panel
November Background research, data analysis, focus group preparation
27 November Full Authority formal sign off of the terms of reference
Late November Panel Meeting – agreement of methodology, detailed scoping etc.
January Staff focus group, officer fieldwork to support panel
18 February Panel hearing - Staff Associations and MPS Officers
Time: 12.15pm (public session)
25 February Panel hearing - Academic, Staff Association and IAG
Time: 2pm (public session)
Answering questions from the Inquiry panel will be: Simon Holdaway, Professor of Criminology and Sociology at the Department of Law (this participant has asked to be heard in private), and Director of the Centre for Criminological Research, University of Sheffield; Mukhtiar Singh, Chair of the Met Sikh Association; and Ben Owusu, Chair of the Met Corporate Independent Advisory Group.
25 March Panel hearing - Chief Constable Steve Otter, (ACPO Lead Race & Diversity) and Deputy Chief constable Christine Twigg, (ACPO Lead Women & BME Progression)
Time: 3.00-4.00pm
Panel hearing -  Neil Basu, MPS
Time: 4.15pm-5.15pm
Panel hearing - Everett Henry, Head of Equality, Diversity and Human Rights and Angela O’Connor (Chief Officer for People and Development), National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA).
Time: 5.15-6.15pm
30 March Panel hearing - Kit Malthouse, Vice Chair MPA
Time: 10.30-11.30am
Panel hearing - Catherine Crawford, Chief Executive MPA
Time: 11.45-12.45pm
Panel hearing - Sir Paul Stephenson, Commissioner, MPS
Time: 2.00-3.30pm
Panel hearing - Bill Griffiths, Director, Leadership Development
Time: 3.30-4.30pm
Panel hearing - Rod Jarman, Acting Deputy Assistant Commissioner, MPS
Time: 4.45-5.45pm
Panel hearing - Denis O’Connor, Acting Chief, HM Inspector of Constabulary
Time: 5.45-6.45pm
31 March
Panel hearing - Robin Field Smith - HM Inspector of Constabulary (Personnel, Training & Diversity)
Time: 2.00-3.00pm
Panel hearing - Denise Milani, Director, Diversity & Citizen Focus
Time: 3.00-4.30pm
6 April Panel hearing - Martin Tiplady, Director of Human Resources, MPS
Time: 8.30-9.30am
Panel hearing - Sir Ian Blair, former Commissioner, MPS
Time: 10.00-11.30am
Panel hearing - Bob Quick, Assistant Commissioner, MPS
Time: 1.00-2.00pm
Panel hearing - Dr Richard Stone, Vice Chair of the Runnymede Trust
Time: 4.15-5.15pm
Panel hearing - Trevor Phillips, Chair, Equality & Human Rights Commission
Time: 5.15-6.15pm
30 April Panel hearing -  Alfred John (Chair), David Macfarlane, Patricia Fenton and Bevan Powell - Black Police Association
Time: 9.30-10.30am
March/April Report writing
May Draft report consultation
September 2009 Full Authority consideration of Race and Faith Inquiry emerging findings

Biographies of the panel members

Bob Purkiss

Photo of Bob Purkiss

Bob Purkiss is an independent member of Hampshire Police Authority and the national chair of the Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) network of the Association of Police Authorities.

Mr Purkiss was a commissioner of the Commission for Racial Equality between 1994 and 2002 and is a former chairman of the European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia.

Anthony Julius

Photo of Anthony Julius

Anthony Julius is a highly regarded litigation lawyer for London law firm Mishcon de Reya. As the Firm’s senior solicitor-advocate, he has appeared in both the High Court and the Court of Appeal. Anthony was for ten years the head of the Firm’s litigation department and served on the management board from 1985-1997.

Anthony has acted for many high profile clients and is renowned for defending Deborah Lipstadt in the David Irving Holocaust denial trial. He is the author of several major books including TS Eliot: Anti-Semitism and Literary Form and Transgressions: The Offences of Art.

Anthony is a Visiting Professor at Birkbeck, University of London and Chairman of the London Consortium.

Margaret Blankson

Margaret Blankson is one of two founding Directors of a consultancy specialising in regeneration, urban development, youth engagement and participation. In addition, Margaret has a wealth of experience in project and change management with substantial experience of delivering complex multi agency initiatives.
Having founded the company in 1999 Margaret has built up an impressive portfolio working with an enviable client base in the public and private sectors as well as the Charitable Sector, former clients include local and central Government, NIKE, Unilever and the Football Association.

Prior to the establishment of her Consultancy, Margaret spent over 17 years working in Local Government, latterly heading the Council's Equalities and Community Liaison Department and ending her local Government career as a Senior Education Officer.

Margaret has a longstanding interest and involvement in policing and community affairs and has occupied various roles in this regard having served as an Associate Police Trainer (delivering training to police officers and staff in response to the McPherson report); founder member of IMPACT, a voluntary sector organisation dedicated to combating gun and knife crime; Member of the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) Independent Advisory Group for Operation Blunt and an Independent Advisor to a range of critical incidents working alongside the MPS and the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

More information

For more information on the Race and Faith Inquiry, please contact:

Siobhan Coldwell
Head of Oversight and Review
Metropolitan Police Authority
10 Dean Farrar Street

Minicom: 020 7202 0173

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