A former police leader, who was once Britain’s most senior non-white officer, has said there is a bullying culture throughout the service.
Neil Basu, speaking at a policing conference on Monday, said that the worst among police bosses see difference as a sign of weakness and instil fear in junior colleagues.
He told delegates at the Police Superintendents’ Association annual conference: “There’s a deeper malaise in policing, which I think I would ascribe to a bullying culture.
“It comes from a very strong command and control culture, a military style institution founded 200 years ago, very hierarchical very based on ‘I know best, do as I say not as I do’.
“We have a whole generation of leaders, the worst of which are bullies, who basically treat people that they should be told what to do, and they should be inspired through fear and not respect.
“And when I have met those leaders in my time… their bigotry is about putting people in their place. And what they see as a sign of difference is a sign of weakness to them.
“And so they will use that against that person.”
He went on: “Curing that culture of bullying is the most important thing.”
Mr Basu said he retired from policing because he did not feel service leaders cared about equality.
He applied for the job of director general of the National Crime Agency last year but was overlooked, angrily demanding an explanation as to why he lost out.
Mr Basu, who previously criticised Home Secretary Suella Braverman’s “horrific” rhetoric about migrants, also commented on her current war on what she called police “pandering to politically correct causes”.
Mr Basu told the conference: “I think the politics of the culture war and the anti-woke and some of the things my senior colleagues have said are absolutely disgraceful.”