A public inquiry into Police Scotland has been opened after a black man died in custody after being held by six policemen, and Chief Constable Ian Livingston said there was institutionalized racism, sexism and misogyny in the service.
The Commander-in-Chief of Scotland’s Police admitted Thursday the “racism” rooted in his apparatus, and the “discriminatory” practices of his personnel, following a review of the prevailing culture in the security apparatus.
The admission by Chief Constable of Police Scotland, Ian Livingstone, comes amid a broader atmosphere of concern about police in the UK, and in particular the larger agency: London’s Metropolitan Police.
An independent review of Police Scotland published on Wednesday found racism, sexism and homophobia among members of the police force. “The right thing to do as Commander-in-Chief is to openly acknowledge that there is institutional racism, sexism, misogyny and discrimination,” Livingston said.
“Police Scotland is institutionally racist and adopts a discriminatory approach,” he told the Scottish Police Authority, a government body that oversees policing.
A public investigation was opened involving the police after a black man named Chico Bayoh died in detention after being arrested by six policemen. Investigators are seeking to establish whether ethnicity played a role in the death of 31-year-old Bayoh in Kirkcaldy, north of Edinburgh, in 2015.
Earlier this month, women who have served in the ranks of the police spoke about the patriarchal culture that prevails in the ranks of Police Scotland.
The Police Scotland report highlighted allegations of persistent discriminatory practices against community minorities, and accounts of racism, sexism and homophobia. She indicated skepticism and even a fear of speaking about her misgivings to the police.
“We heard about people who were punished for raising issues or concerns, for example, they were marginalized or transferred to a less appropriate workplace,” the authority continued.
In March, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak called for “top-down” reform of the London police, after similar cases emerged.
It was decided to conduct the review prepared by government official Louise Casey, after the agent Wayne Cousins kidnapped, raped and killed a woman in 2021, in an incident that shocked Britain. Cousins was sentenced to life imprisonment. However, another member, David Carrick, has since been sentenced to life imprisonment for his involvement in a number of rapes and sexual assaults.
And Casey, who concluded in her report that there was “institutional racism, sexism and homophobia” in the London police, stressed the need for internal change in the apparatus.
In 1999, the London police were charged with institutional racism for failing to respond to the racist murder of black teenager Stephen Lawrence in 1993.