Gay Met officer so scared of police he wouldn't walk past them when off duty
Gay Met officers described how they were forced to endure homophobic abuse from their colleagues on a regular basis, with one saying he was so scared of the police he would avoid walking past them when off duty.
In a landmark review of the force's culture, Dame Louise Casey declared Scotland Yard “institutionally homophobic”, with a third of LGBT+ officers reporting that they had been bullied at work.
One openly gay officer described how he had been the target of a sustained campaign of homophobia from inside the Met.
He said he had joined the police because he cared deeply about public service and protecting communities, but had received appalling personal abuse from some of his colleagues.
The report stated: “He has been anonymously targeted on social media with homophobic slurs, calling him a “f----t” and a “c--- sucker”.
But he said when he had tried to report the matter to his superiors they had brushed off his concerns, with one telling him: “If you were a straight white man we would not be having this conversation.”
“The organisational response was lacklustre and uninterested. Thankfully I had support from a handful of individual colleagues,” he explained.
'I don’t trust my own organisation'
He told the review his faith in the Met and the officers who worked within it had been badly shaken and had even left him fearing for his safety.
“This will sound quite laughable. I am scared of the police. I don’t trust my own organisation. I will vary the route I walk to avoid walking past police officers when I am not at work” he told the review team.
Another openly gay officer described how his colleagues would be obsessed with his sex life and would ask him deeply personal questions that were written off as “banter”.
“You’re so desperate to be liked, you acquiesce, because you want to fit in,” he explained.
He also said he had seen evidence of homophobia in the way Met officers policed London.
“Back when I was on response team, when you heard an LGBT matter come out on the radio, you’d hear a collective groan. People don’t want to attend those calls,” he explained.
Stephen Port failings
Baroness Casey highlighted the Met’s failings over the handling of the case of gay serial killer Stephen Port who murdered four young men in east London.
She said Scotland Yard had been extremely defensive and had “batted away” accusations that homophobia had played a part in the string of police blunders.
The family of Jack Taylor, one of Port’s victims, said the review was damning and called for a public inquiry in order to understand why the Met was letting people down so badly.
Mr Taylor’s sisters, Donna and Jenny said the report highlighted the “toxic culture” across the Met Police, adding that they believe police would have reacted differently if their brother had been a woman.
“Someone needs to take responsibility for tackling issues such as homophobia, someone needs to own it,” they said.
Responding to the report, the head of the Metropolitan Police Sir Mark Rowley said: “I accept her diagnosis about the racism, misogyny and homophobia in the organisation.”
Although he said he would not use the term “institutional” to describe the failings, he added: “To be part of an organisation that has let individuals down so badly is deeply upsetting.
”Because we have to right this wrong. We have to deal with these cultural problems. And the vast majority of my colleagues are up for this.”