London Mayor's Office to Spend £25,000 on Anti-Racism Training for Police Scrutiny Board

The Mayor of London plans to spend £25,000 on "anti-racism allyship" training for the Metropolitan Police's new scrutiny board, aiming to address issues of racism and improve community relations, though the move has drawn criticism.

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Nasiru Eneji Abdulrasheed
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London Mayor's Office to Spend £25,000 on Anti-Racism Training for Police Scrutiny Board

London Mayor's Office to Spend £25,000 on Anti-Racism Training for Police Scrutiny Board

The Mayor of London's policing office plans to spend up to £25,000 on "anti-racism allyship" training for members of the Metropolitan Police's new scrutiny board. The Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC) aims to provide this training to the London Policing Board, which includes figures like Stuart Lawrence, the brother of Stephen Lawrence, and Neil Basu, a retired Met police officer.

The training is part of Mayor Sadiq Khan's efforts to address issues of racism and improve community relations with the police in London. It seeks to "empower all participants to actively contribute towards driving improvements to the Metropolitan Police Service in addressing racism" and will cover topics such as racism, misogyny, LGBT+, disability, and faith.

Why this matters: The move comes amid growing concerns about institutional racism, sexism, and homophobia within the Met Police, as highlighted by a recent review. Tackling these issues through training and scrutiny is viewed as vital for rebuilding trust between the police and the communities they serve in London.

However, the decision to allocate £25,000 for the training has drawn criticism from some who view it as a "disturbing misuse of public money" on a "completely meaningless" diversity course. The government had previously scrapped unconscious bias training after finding it does not change behavior or improve workplace equality.

The London Policing Board, which will receive the anti-racism allyship training, was established to provide scrutiny and oversight of the Met Police. The training is intended to equip board members with the knowledge and skills to effectively address issues of racism and discrimination within the police force.

Mayor Sadiq Khan's office defended the training expenditure, emphasizing the importance of promoting diversity, inclusion, and anti-racism within the Met Police. A spokesperson stated, "This training is a critical step in our ongoing efforts to build a police force that serves all Londoners fairly and equally, regardless of their background."

Key Takeaways

  • London Mayor to spend £25K on anti-racism training for police board
  • Training aims to empower board to address racism, sexism, homophobia in Met
  • Training criticized as "meaningless" diversity course, ineffective at changing behavior
  • London Policing Board to receive training to improve police-community relations
  • Mayor defends training as critical to build a fair, equal police force