Police misogyny: “We need to be open and accept there are problems”

Conservative PCC candidate, Festus Akinbusoye
PCC Festus Akinbusoye has said that the Police need to accept there are problems with misogyny and sexism within the force

Bedfordshire’s police and crime commissioner has said policing needs to be more open and accept that it still has problems to deal with.

One of the findings in a report published last week by His Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) into policing across England and Wales was that a culture of “misogyny, sexism and predatory behaviour” towards female police officers and members of the public still exists in many forces.

This has led to calls for more stringent vetting of new recruits and officers transferring between forces.

The police and crime commissioner (PCC), Festus Akinbusoye, said: “Policing has got to get its act together, it’s got to sort out its own house first before we can effectively sort out anybody else’s house.

“And I sense this culture of defensiveness, not in Bedfordshire, but from some conversations I’ve had with other PCCs or police chiefs.

“They’re not happy at all about the HMICFRS report, they felt they were being picked on, that policing was being picked on.

“My view is, ‘do you not understand there is a real problem here?’

“Policing needs to be much more keen to be open and accept that there are problems,” he said.

Amongst the misogyny and predatory behaviour highlighted by the HMICFRS report was the stopping cars of women officers found attractive, referred to as ‘booty patrols’.

The PCC said: “This was something I’d never heard before, they’re doing ‘booty patrol’ so they’re going around checking out women.

“It’s just so destroying that people do this, but more so that someone would have reported this and perhaps not enough was done about it,” he said.

“Because of the nature of the job and the immense power it has, it will attract some people who are of a certain kind of mentality.

“Because it gives them a ripe environment to actually materialise their dark and dastardly personalities.

“Thankfully, I can say the majority of them are not that way, but one is just one too many and we just can’t have it,” he said.

by John Guinn
Local Democracy Reporter

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