Hate Crime

Meeting: 
MQT on 2014-09-17
Session date: 
September 17, 2014
Reference: 
2014/3066
Question By: 
Caroline Pidgeon
Organisation: 
Liberal Democrats
Asked Of: 
The Mayor
Category: 

Question

Hundreds of police officers across the country have been investigated for making racist and homophobic comments on social media and the MPS is reported to have the third highest number of investigations (69).  Given that hate crime is a priority and your hate crime strategy consultation what are you doing to better train officers to prevent this shameful and alarming behaviour?

Answer

Answer for Hate Crime

Answer for Hate Crime

Answered By: 
The Mayor

It is always a concern when public servants are found to have been expressing inappropriate views in any context, and I fully expect the Commissioner to rigorously investigate and to hold his officers to account for any such incidents.

The 69 cases (60 officers and 9 staff) referred to are the number of people who have had an allegation recorded against them in relation to the misuse of social networking sites. Of these 69 only 3 allegations related to discrimination. In a force the size of the MPS with 50,000 people this is a very small number of people behaving inappropriately. Nonetheless any poor behaviour is unacceptable.

I am assured that the MPS takes the use of social media seriously both as an engagement tool and as a method of improving confidence and recognises that any misuse can have a significant impact.

The Directorate of Professional Standards (DPS) instructs managers in the benefits and risks in using social media. Appropriate use of social media is also incorporated in leadership courses and training for both police officers and Metropolitan Special Constables (MSCs). Regular updates are also issued to staff to reinforce awareness on the appropriate use of social media.