Met officers recognized for promoting diversity

Police officers and staff across London have been recognised for their work to improve diversity and equality at the MPS Diversity Excellence Awards 2011.  

Acting Inspector Sean McDermid of the Safer Transport Command won the Diversity Leadership Award for his partnership work delivering a programme of targeted engagement activity for vulnerable transport users including those at risk of homophobic abuse and disabled people. The Safe Travel for All Campaign is estimated to have reached at least 15,000 people across London.

The Fair and Responsive Services Award went to Bromley Borough officers who helped introduce the ‘Buddi Tag’ system enabling police to track and swiftly locate forensic mental health patients breaching leave. This is the first system of its kind in the UK. The team also introduced a mobile custody unit in hospital grounds reducing the time patients accused of crime were away from their safe environment.

A team from SCD8 Trident won the Community Engagement Award for their high impact ‘U Decide’ and ‘Decisions and Consequences’ preventative educational programmes for school pupils and young people at risk of becoming victims or participants in serious violence.  The programme reached 21,000 young people in the 12 months to June 2011 and has helped support a 21% decrease in murders and shootings across London.

The Workforce and Culture Award went to the Met’s Leadership and Learning Directorate for developing a training exercise for police officer recruits dealing with disability related incidents. The training has been cited as good practice in the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s report on Disability Related Harassment.  

Brent Borough won the Performance Award for their work to improve equality and diversity through the Equality Standard for the Police Service, contributing to a marked improvement in public confidence.

Highly commended certificates for community engagement work were awarded to officers from CO19 Specialist Firearms Command and Lambeth Borough.  

Dave Haynes from the Directorate of Information was highly commended for his work in providing assistive technology for the Met’s disabled staff.  

The team responsible for recruiting volunteers and Metropolitan Special Constables were also highly commended for their impact in the Workforce and Working Culture category. Their work has seen the number of applications to the Met from black and minority ethnic people and females rise to 36% and 24% respectively.

Speakers at the ceremony included Paul Anderson Walsh from the Stephen Lawrence Trust and Cindy Butts from the Metropolitan Police Authority.

Ms. Butts said: “All too often the good work that takes place every day across the Met goes unrecognised and these Awards provide one way in which we can celebrate some of the great things you all do. For too long there has been a tendency to see diversity as an add-on – either something that is done by specialists hidden away from the reality of policing or something that we will get around to when the day job is done. These Awards are a tangible demonstration of how that attitude has changed within the Met.”

Mr. Walsh welcomed Met’s initiative to celebrate diversity. He said: “there is a desire in the Met to work with organisations such as ours to be partners for good. The police service has an incredible role to play in society and the organisation needs good leaders to manage diversity.”

Denise Milani, Director of Diversity and Citizen Focus said it was a pleasure to see the hard work and dedication of those driving forward diversity and equality in Met being recognised. “These Awards recognise those who have made a positive difference to the organisation and to the communities we serve,” Ms. Milani said.