No respect for Disabled people in the Metropolitan Police.

The Baroness Casey Review highlights systemic and fundamental failings in the Metropolitan Police’s culture, including deep-rooted cultural issues and a lack of transparency and accountability, resulting in bigotry and discrimination being “baked into the system”, with ableism being too often missed in discussions.

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Bigotry and discrimination are “baked into the system”.

Inclusion London welcome Baroness Casey’s review of the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) culture. [1]

Its findings, while not a surprise amidst the growing reports of systemic bigotry within the service, are deeply shameful for a police force which claims it is “Making London safe for all the people we serve”.

The report highlights systemic and fundamental inadequacies in how the Metropolitan Police Force is run, with deep-rooted cultural issues which harm the very people they claim to protect, and a failure to maintain the force’s integrity as a whole. A lack of transparency and accountability has meant bigotry and discrimination are “baked into the system”.


Ableism within the Metropolitan Police

At Inclusion London, we are heartened by the long overdue acknowledgment of disability discrimination within the Metropolitan Police throughout the review.

The Charing Cross investigation found multiple incidents of ableism alongside racism, sexism and homophobia[2]. Within the last month, we responded to the news of a misconduct hearing for a group of police officers mainly from the Bexley area, who were part of a Whatsapp group found to include horrendously upsetting and derogatory language in discussion of Harvey Price, a Disabled man[3].

Ableism has always been a part of the failings of the Metropolitan Police, yet it is too often missed in discussions. Even following this review, many news articles overlooked the disability discrimination mentioned throughout Baroness Casey’s review.


Disability discrimination and a culture of bullying

A Disabled police officer is quoted in the review as saying, ““There is an attitude in the Met about people with disabilities, especially hidden ones, being lazy, and it destroys you. We do have a culture of bullying…People have questioned if you are really that ill why don’t you leave the job.” It was upsetting and enraging to read that one officer was quoted as saying, “I don’t want to deal with those m****” when asked to work on that programme”.

The review finds that, “…our analysis of the [Employment Tribunal] claims brought over the last five years indicates that the three most frequently occurring bases for claims were, in order, disability, race and sex discrimination…”. The number of claims for disability discrimination as a single issue between 2017-18 and 2021-22 is 120, compared with 24 and 25 for Race and Sex discrimination, respectively.


The review concurs with what Inclusion London have been finding; Ableism and issues relating to Ableism are not prioritised and there is no dedicated work being done in the MPS on this, with insufficient data or research within the MPS to be ensure these issues are addressed. Of the case studies included in the report, none of them related to Ableism or disability discrimination, despite this being one of the main reasons for employment tribunals.



Louise Holden, Hate Crime Partnership Project Manager says,

‘Thinking that a Disabled person is not as valuable a member of staff as a non-Disabled person is blatant Ableism. I was so angry reading the review, seeing how Disabled police officers have been treated. Other forms of prejudice and discrimination are named in the review. I would have welcomed at least a mention of Ableism. It needs to be just as much a priority as other types of discrimination.’

Our own report published in 2021[4] included evidence from across UK police forces, suggesting institutional Ableism.

Inclusion London agree with the review that there needs to be more research and data collection within the MPS to ensure that disability discrimination, in all its manifestations, is called out and dealt with. Inclusion London will continue to work with the MPS and other agencies in the Criminal Justice System campaigning for improvements for Disabled Londoners.”