UK police forces receive over 700 complaints of discrimination over the past 2 years

Figures obtained by Police Review from police forces following a Freedom of Information Act 2000 survey show that during the past two years, police forces in the UK have received more than 700 complaints of discrimination from police officers and staff. But staff associations fear these numbers only represent a fraction of the true levels of discrimination within the service.

Liz Owsley, national co-ordinator for the British Association for Women in Policing, says some officers will not do anything about discrimination or will choose to informally speak to someone for advice, but these cases will not be recorded. Ms Owsley says: 'The only ones we know about are the ones where [someone] has challenged it and put pen to paper. I think that [the figures] are probably the tip of the iceberg.' Scott Westbrook, chairman of the National Disabled Police Association, also says a lot of incidents go unrecorded by forces. 'The figures tell a story. Unfortunately they only give half a story,' he says.

Gagging order (Jane's Information Group, 29 November 2007)