Now Police Scotland’s new chief constable Jo Farrell declares force is ‘institutionally discriminatory’ on her first day in the job – backing her predecessor Sir Iain Livingstone’s controversial statement
- Ex-Durham Constabulary chief constable said it was a ‘difficult message’ for staff
Police Scotland’s new chief constable has declared the force is ‘institutionally discriminatory’ on her first day in the job.
Jo Farrell backed her predecessor Sir Iain Livingstone’s comments in May that the force is racist.
In a no-holds-barred and controversial statement, the outgoing Sir Iain heavily criticised Police Scotland with prejudice and bad behaviour within the force ‘rightly of great concern’.
In a lengthy statement, Chief Constable Farrell said it was a ‘difficult message’ for staff to hear but she was determined to ‘drive an anti-discriminatory agenda’.
The former Durham Constabulary chief constable said: ‘I know the acknowledgement of institutional discrimination is a difficult message for many dedicated and honourable officers and staff.
Police Scotland’s new chief constable Jo Farrell has declared the force is ‘institutionally discriminatory’ in her first day in the job
Chief Constable Farrell has agreed with her predecessor Sir Iain Livingstone’s (pictured) comments in May that the force is racist
‘Having considered Sir Iain’s reasons, I agree Police Scotland is institutionally discriminatory. People with different backgrounds or experiences, including our officers and staff, have not always received the service that is their right.
‘The onus is on us to challenge bad behaviour and prejudice, address gaps and eradicate bias, known or unwitting, at every level. Our Policing Together programme drives this moral, legal and operational imperative so that we maintain and build confidence with all communities.’
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A report earlier this year uncovered ‘instances of ongoing discrimination against minoritised communities, including first-hand accounts of racism, sexism and homophobia’ by serving officers.
The review also heard instances of people being ‘punished’ for raising their concerns about the culture within Police Scotland.
Speaking at the time, Sir Iain, who retired on August 10, put the ‘onus’ on the force to rid itself of institutional racism.
‘The right thing for me to do as chief constable is to clearly state that institutional racism, sexism, misogyny and discrimination exist,’ he said.
‘Police Scotland is institutionally racist and discriminatory.
‘Publicly acknowledging these institutional issues exist is essential to our absolute commitment to championing equality and becoming an anti-racist service.
‘It is also critical to our determination to lead wider change in society.
‘Prejudice and bad behaviour within policing, as highlighted by court and conduct cases, various independent reviews and by listening to our own officers and staff over recent years, is rightly of great concern and is utterly condemned.
‘There is no place in Police Scotland for those who reject our values and standards.’
Speaking in May Scottish First Minister Humza Yousaf hailed Sir Iain’s ‘historic’ statement and said it was ‘monumental’
Scotland’s First Minister Humza Yousaf hailed Sir Iain’s statement as ‘historic’ and ‘monumental’.
Mr Yousaf said in May: ‘There is no doubt that institutional racism exists in our society, and I want to take a moment just to say as a person of colour the statement from the chief constable is monumental, historic.’
Patrick Corrigan, head of nations and regions at Amnesty International, said on X, formerly known as Twitter, that Chief Constable Farrell ‘needs to set out what action she intends to take without delay to address this serious problem’.
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