Reinstated Met Detective Sent on Leadership Course After Racism Investigation

Detective Sergeant Neil Buckmaster’s reinstatement amidst allegations of racism has sparked debates on accountability and transparency within the embattled Metropolitan Police. Here’s the full story.

Lack of Trust

The public’s trust in the Metropolitan Police has recently taken a nosedive following continuous news stories and reports underlining the force’s institutional problems with racism, sexism, and homophobia. 

The tragic murder of Sarah Everard, killed by off-duty Metropolitan Police constable Wayne Couzens, has only amplified the public perception that something is rotten at the core of the Met. 

This sense of public distrust in the very police force that is supposed to protect citizens in the capital took another severe blow this week, as it was revealed that Detective Sergeant Neil Buckmaster of the Metropolitan Police finds himself back in service following allegations of racism. 

Accountability and Transparency

Buckmaster’s path through the disciplinary system has sparked debates regarding accountability, transparency, and the handling of misconduct within law enforcement agencies.

Buckmaster’s job was terminated in 2021 after being found guilty of gross misconduct. He faced repercussions for his involvement in an online football game where he used racist language. 

At the time of the incident, the Met stated that his conduct was “offensive and utterly unacceptable.”

Zero Tolerance

The decision to not only fire him from his job but also to bar him from any further employment by police agencies was seen at the time as a vindication of the force’s zero-tolerance approach towards racism in the force. 

However, Buckmaster’s dismissal was later overturned by an appeal tribunal, prompting questions about the efficacy of the disciplinary process. 

Despite the initial findings of gross misconduct, the tribunal’s decision to reinstate Buckmaster highlighted severe shortcomings in the investigation process.

Not To Proceed

The Metropolitan Police’s Directorate of Professional Standards reviewed the case but opted not to proceed with a new misconduct hearing. This perceived lack of accountability only fueled calls for improved oversight of such proceedings in the future.  

Commissioner Mark Rowley has previously advocated for senior officers to have the final say in employment matters within the force. Former Met Superintendent Leroy Logan expressed serious doubts about the implications of Buckmaster’s reinstatement on public confidence in the police force.

Logan stated that this incident could be used to show that the Met “tolerates this behavior.”

He continued, “We need to know why this person has been allowed back; they just can’t leave it in limbo, hanging there.”

Flaws in Initial Investigation

A police appeals tribunal, upon reviewing Buckmaster’s case, identified flaws in the initial investigation that could have influenced the outcome. 

Political figures, including London mayoral candidate Susan Hall, seized upon Buckmaster’s case to critique the oversight of the Metropolitan Police by Mayor Sadiq Khan’s office. 

Hall stated, “Sadiq Khan and his office have failed to oversee the Met police properly for eight years and have ignored Londoners’ concerns about crime. We cannot restore trust and confidence in the police without improving the scrutiny it gets from City Hall.”

Controversial Reinstatement

Despite the controversy surrounding his reinstatement, the Metropolitan Police reiterated its commitment to combating racism within its ranks. 

Former Met commander Paul Betts stated, “Racism and discrimination in any form has absolutely no place at all in the Metropolitan Police Service, whether an officer is on or off duty.”

However, as Detective Sergeant Neil Buckmaster finds himself not only back in the Metropolitan Police but also actively participating in a leadership course within the force, it seems that Bett’s statement may be premature. 

Blaming Government

For its part, the Metropolitan Police laid the blame for Buckmaster’s reinstatement firmly at the government’s doors, stating, “The commissioner has consistently called for senior officers to have the final say on who should or shouldn’t be allowed to remain in the police. Those who are held to account for standards in policing should have the powers to deliver the change that is needed.”

They continued: “We made those representations strongly to the Home Office’s recent review on police misconduct and we are pleased they recommended that chief constables (or the commissioner in the case of the Met) should have a right of appeal following police appeals tribunal decisions. We look forward to the change in legislation that will bring that right into law.”

While the police and the government argue over who is at fault for Buckmaster’s return to the force, the unfortunate saga further erodes the public’s trust in the police and their ability to protect and serve all in the community equally. 

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The post Reinstated Met Detective Sent on Leadership Course After Racism Investigation first appeared on Edge Media.

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / John Gomez.

Grant Gallacher is a seasoned writer with expertise in politics and impactful daily news. His work, deeply rooted in addressing issues that resonate with a wide audience, showcases an unwavering commitment to bringing forth the stories that matter. He is also known for satirical writing and stand up comedy.

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