Racism is endemic in society, affecting trade unions, political parties and the media, Scotland’s police chief has said – days after branding his own force institutionally racist.

Chief Constable Sir Iain Livingstone, who said institutional racism, sexism and misogyny were problems for Police Scotland, has vowed to crack down on ‘canteen culture’ and offensive banter.

He has now challenged other organisations to examine their own records on discrimination, claiming they ‘also have some of these elements’.

Sir Iain’s shock declaration of institutional racism in policing – which he made at a public board meeting of the Scottish Police Authority last month – triggered a backlash from rank-and-file officers.

One former senior officer has branded Sir Iain a ‘coward’ for raising the issue shortly before his retirement in August and leaving his successor, who has not yet been chosen, to tackle the fallout.

Chief Constable Sir Iain Livingstone (pictured) has vowed to crack down on 'canteen culture' and offensive banter

Chief Constable Sir Iain Livingstone (pictured) has vowed to crack down on 'canteen culture' and offensive banter

Chief Constable Sir Iain Livingstone (pictured) has vowed to crack down on ‘canteen culture’ and offensive banter

Bosses at the Scottish Police Federation (SPF), representing rank-and-file officers, have accused him of having ‘damaged the reputation’ of policing.

But Sir Iain defended his comments and accused his critics of misinterpreting the remarks, insisting that they were intended as an ‘accelerator to make the changes we wish to make’.

He sparked controversy on May 25 when he announced a review of Police Scotland had found inst-ances of racism, sexism and homophobia. 

He said: ‘Publicly acknowledging that these institutional issues exist in our organisation is essential to our absolute commitment to championing equality and becoming an anti-racist service.’

In an interview with the Sunday Times, Sir Iain said: ‘I would also stress it is important not to see this just as a police issue. Policing is reflective of society.

‘I genuinely put the challenge out to political parties, the trade unions, private sector trade associations and the media. If they reflect society, then they also have some of these elements’. 

He added: ‘I’m saying this because it is the right thing to do and the right time to do it. It will allow the organisation to go forward.’

Sir Iain, 56, said ‘minority staff associations and women within the service’ had ‘really welcomed’ his remarks ‘because it then allows progress to be made’.

He said he did not want to suggest that Scottish people were racist, only that long-standing historical attitudes, whether based on race, religion or sex, are still embedded in society. 

He insisted he had made ‘a positive statement of recognition, so it should actually act as an accelerator to make the changes we wish to make’.

The SPF, representing around 16,600 officers, has attacked Sir Iain directly on its website, accusing him of having ‘damaged the reputation’ of officers and civilian staff. 

Its general secretary, David Kennedy, said that ‘no matter how much context you gave and qualifications you made, or how you tried to reassure us that you were not labelling individual police officers as racist, sexist, misogynistic or discriminatory, that is how it was interpreted by many within and outwith the service’.

Former Police Scotland temporary superintendent Brian Cook said Sir Iain is an ‘utter disgrace’, and a ‘coward who throws his force under a bus and then runs away into cosy retirement’.

Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk

Leave a Reply
You May Also Like

Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck continue their house hunting adventure at a $68 million mansion

Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck are continuing their search for the perfect home.…

Dorinda Medley reunites with top restaurateur who says they had a ‘torrid affair’ in 1996

Dorinda Medley enjoyed a meet-up at Balthazar over the weekend with its…

BTK’s former Kansas home is searched by cops over missing persons investigation

Cops have searched the former home of the notorious serial killer Dennis…

Melbourne Uber attack: Father Laddy Lahora is ambushed by thugs armed with baseball bats in his driveway at Springvale

A father who was brutally attacked by a group of thugs in…