The Metropolitan Black Police Association (MetBPA) was formed with the intention of improving the working environment of Caribbean, African and Asian heritage officers and staff, ensuring that individuals are treated fairly and equitably within the workplace.
The core values of the Staff Support Association, both in terms of supporting the Metropolitan Police’s (Met) staffing base and being a focal point for Met operations to seek advice and support on specific cultural issues likely to affect policing will be significantly curtailed and impeded by the Met’s decision to drastically alter the working arrangements of the Association.
The Metropolitan Police have significantly undermined the previous value placed on the work of the Association through measures that are designed to lessen the positive influence the Association has on a wide range of issues.
As the Met becomes more diverse, the need to ensure fair working practices, policies and equable treatment of staff and officers will become even more of a necessity. Likewise, the need to act as a critical friend and provide advice and support where policing directly impacts on London’s diverse communities, will become even more paramount as London’s ethnic populations continue to grow.
The MetBPA was created over 20 years ago by a core group of officers and staff who refused to be mistreated and subjected to discrimination. More than 20 years later our officers and staff are still experiencing discrimination and unfair working practices.
There is also the need for underrepresented communities to have a voice due to the continued disproportionality experienced during police encounters within these communities. The need for a Staff Support Association to be able to effectively speak up on their behalf at the highest levels of the Met is as relevant today as it always has been.
The Met has long been seen as institutionally racist and such measures will do nothing to reassure London’s diverse communities.
The MetBPA Chair Janet Hills, stated “I know so many people that are fighting for equality both internally and within our communities, the majority of which do it in their own time. The review doesn’t even give us the time to do that now. The recommendation is that we go from having 87 hours a month to just 16 hours per month which is then to be spread across several people and even then only at the permission and good will of line managers .
However it’s not just the MetBPA that will suffer. The funding for full-time Chairs for the Disability Association (DSA) and the Association of Muslim Police (AMP) are also being axed under the new reforms.
The MetBPA membership and I are passionate about what we do, but the thing that hurts the most is that they haven’t even considered what we save the organisation in terms of reputation and the costs of employment tribunals etc. Some things can not have a value placed upon them and should exist because it’s right and proper that they do”.
Note to editors:
All press enquiries to the Chair of the MetBPA, Janet Hills, on 07887 635375.
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