The National Black Police Association (NBPA) are dismayed, yet not surprised, by the recent decision of the Metropolitan Police to seek a judicial review into the decision of the Police Appeals Tribunal (PAT) to overturn the dismissal of Superintendent Robyn Williams.
Our concern with the Metropolitan Police’s approach stems from the fact that it seems determined to waste public money to further discredit and destroy a senior black female police officer with blatant disregard to the impact on recruitment and retention of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Police officers, staff and the diverse communities it serves.
In the light of the recent Home Affairs Select Committee report – The Macpherson Report: Twenty-Two Years On – the decision of the Metropolitan Police, only serves to reinforce the ‘prevalence of deep rooted and unjustified racial disparities and problems in misconduct proceedings’ clearly outlined in the report. This is especially so when the decision making of the Police Appeals Tribunal (PAT) is clear; namely that the reasoning of the Presiding Officer’s (PO) decision was thin and as such the PAT were unsure as to whether they took into consideration important factors where they were not specifically mentioned. Furthermore, the PAT outlined that in making their decision to dismiss Robyn, inadequate notice was taken of the public’s belief that her dismissal would have an adverse impact on the reputation of the Metropolitan Police.
The NBPA notes with interest, the telling statement from the PAT that whilst the PO stated that she noted the comments regarding the impact of Robyn’s dismissal she, “diminishes such comments by saying that much of the argument about public confidence was based on a misunderstanding or a minimisation of the actual circumstances of the case”.
It is this statement, which confirms to the NBPA, that despite public commitments to race equality and community engagement; the bottom line, is that policing leaders, revert to the viewpoint that communities do not understand the policing position when they are in pursuit of their own agenda.
Andy George, President of the NBPA said,
“In light of the recent Home Affairs Select Committee Report and the appointment of the Chair of the Independent Scrutiny and Oversight Board, the decision of the Metropolitan Police to seek a judicial review into the decision of the Police Appeals Tribunal to overturn the dismissal of Superintendent Robyn Williams, shows that little has changed, lessons have not been learnt and that Black, Asian and other Minority Ethnic Police Officers are still treated disproportionately to their white counterparts. Robyn Williams has been vilified by the leadership of the Metropolitan Police on account that she is a Senior Black Police officer who is good at her job and is respected by the diverse communities she serves. The actions of the Metropolitan Police will only serve to harden mistrust at a time when it is most needed.”
National Black Police Association
10th August 2021
The complete Police Appeals Tribunal decision is on the following link: