Global progressive policing

Tackling Discrimination Within Policing: The Need for Root and Branch Institutional Reform
(Ended 7th Dec 2023)


7th Dec 2023 to 7th Dec 2023

Back to search results

Date of Event: Thursday, December 7th 2023

Time of Event: 9:30 AM — 1:00 PM GMT

Place of Event: Webinar

Key Speakers

  • Ruwan Uduwerage-Perera, Senior Lecturer & Director of Policing, Criminology & Justice at the University of East London
  • Montell Neufville, Managing Director at ATT10TIVE Social Enterprise & Chair of the JPS Tri-Force Use of Force Community Scrutiny Panel for Beds, Herts & Cambs
  • David Pearson, Trustee at ELOP – East London Out Project
  • Sheldon Thomas, Chief Executive of Gangsline


A 2022 report by the Institute of Race Relations highlighted a growing culture of extremism in UK policing, with an increasing number of officers sharing racist and far-right content online. Numerous scandals in recent years have exposed widespread racism, misogyny and homophobia within many UK police forces, especially London’s Metropolitan Police, raising serious questions as to whether a culture of institutionalised bigotry exists within UK policing. A review of the Met by His Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) in 2022 found nearly 70,000 crimes going unrecorded, errors in stop and search, failure to assess vulnerability and repeat victimisation, “a persistently large backlog of online child abuse referrals”, and “an insufficient understanding of the force’s training requirements”. Evidence indicates that levels of trust and confidence in the police have declined in recent years, particularly among women and ethnic minorities. A November 2022, YouGov poll of UK adults, for example, found 49% had confidence in the police, compared to 58% in January 2019.

There is a growing recognition within government that change is needed to tackle entrenched discrimination, as well as wider failings, within policing. In June 2022, HMICFRS placed the Metropolitan Police in special measures for the first time in its history, to provide “additional scrutiny and support ​to help make improvements”. In January 2023, the Home Office began a review into the process of police officer dismissals to “ensure that the public can be confident that those falling far short of the high standards expected of them can be removed from policing”. In the government’s Strategic Policing Requirement 2023, the Home Secretary stated that “improving trust and confidence in policing” is a key objective for police as part of their response to tackling violence against women and girls.

The Police Foundation’s Strategic Review of Policing in England and Wales, published in March 2022 in response to the various scandals that have blighted policing in recent years, contained 56 recommendations urging radical reform to police culture, skills and training and organisational structure. These include: the introduction of a new licence to practice for all police officers that is renewed every five years and subject to strict conditions; and investment in front line policing, training and technology to modernise the service from top to bottom. In November 2022, HMICFRS conducted an inspection of vetting, misconduct, and misogyny in the police service, which recommended improvements to vetting processes and the way police assess and investigate allegations of misconduct. Women’s Aid has called for “the full implementation of the inspectorate’s recommendations on vetting, misconduct and misogyny in policing”. In December 2022, the Institute for Government highlighted concerns around the lack of formal sanctioning powers for Police and Crime Panels in their scrutiny of Police and Crime Commissioners. Baroness Casey’s review into the standards of behaviour and internal culture of the Metropolitan Police called for the misconduct process in the Met to be reformed and for new oversight and accountability mechanisms.

This timely symposium will provide police forces and other key stakeholders with the opportunity to understand how discrimination manifests itself within these institutions, identify key strategies to overcome them internally, devise better and fairer police practices for working with women, children and ethnic minority and gay communities, hold law-breaking police officers to account, and introduce radical reform of UK policing that can restore public confidence in law-enforcement.


  • Examine the recommendations made in the Police Foundation’s Strategic Review of Policing in England and Wales
  • Learn about the challenges posed by implicit biases and leading best practices within police forces to tackle implicit bias and prevent discriminatory practices
  • Explore the legislative changes and changes in recruitment, training and disciplinary policies needed to root out discrimination from UK police forces
  • Examine methods for developing strong community partnerships to build trust, understanding and consensus, especially with regard to women, LGBTQ+ people, and those from ethnic minorities
  • Establish strategies to consistently improve representation of women, LGBTQ+ people, and ethnic minority officers in the police force
  • Analyse internal police complaints procedures and exchange views on how these can be improved to reduce discriminatory practice
  • Examine how “institutional racism”, as described in the Macpherson Report, should be tackled
  • Identify key actions government and police forces might take in response to the Lammy Review

Who Should Attend?

  • Police Services
  • Chief Constables
  • Borough Commanders
  • Police and Crime Commissioners 
  • Heads of Diversity
  • Diversity, Equality and Inclusion Officers/Coordinators 
  • HR Teams
  • Police and Crime Commissioners
  • Community Safety Officers/Managers
  • Community Safety Partnerships
  • Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnerships
  • Crown Prosecution Service
  • Legal Professionals
  • Victim Care/Advocacy Organisations
  • Neighbourhood Policing Teams
  • Community Cohesion Officers
  • Community Engagement Officers
  • Local Authority Officers and Councillors
  • Central Government and Agencies
  • Charities, Social Enterprises and Cooperatives
  • Third Sector Practitioners
  • Trade Union Representatives
  • Academics, Analysts and Researchers
More information

Back to search results