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Gender Sensitivity at Scotland Yard

It’s enough to make the hard men of the Sweeney choke on their cigars and double whiskies.

Scotland Yard officers have been asked to enter a poetry competition on the theme of ‘gender equality’. The prize is a chance to have ‘elevenses’ with the Met’s head of diversity Denise Milani, who is renowned in Britain’s biggest police force for her touchy-feely initiatives.

Officers are told their poems must focus on ‘recruitment, retention or progression’ at the Yard, creating a ‘gender-sensitive working environment’ or ‘successfully managing gender-diverse teams’. They must also provide Miss Milani, 54, with insight on the progress made with the ‘Gender Agenda’ from a male or female perspective and suggest a ‘positive vision’ for the Met.

Details of the extraordinary competition were leaked to the Police Inspector blog, prompting a furious reaction from serving officers who accused the Met of wasting taxpayers’ money. Inspector Gadget, the anonymous author of the blog, wrote: ‘I can categorically say that this is the maddest diversity nonsense we have ever featured. ‘I would like to hear from more female officers to see what they think of this, in between making tea for the lads of course!’

Within minutes of his posting, Inspector Gadget was inundated with examples of possible entries, some of which were obscene.Another outraged policeman said: ‘Now that this is in the public domain, can a member of the public write a letter of complaint to BHH (Met Commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe) about this scandalous waste of their taxes?’.

The poetry competition has been launched to coincide with next month’s International Women’s Day. On the force’s internal Intranet, officers and civilian staff are urged to ‘get creative’ in the run-up to the event.

Miss Milani, the daughter of West Indian migrants, originally qualified as a teacher and joined the Met in 1999. She is believed to be paid more than £80,000 a year, although Scotland Yard refuses to reveal her exact salary. Despite a cost-cutting campaign at the Yard, her position as Director of the Diversity and Citizen Focus Directorate appears safe. The directorate promotes the recognition of the Met’s minority employees – dealing with gender, disability, sexual orientation, age and faith as well as race. It has a total of 36 staff.

In 2008, the Mail revealed how Miss Milani had urged Met staff to ‘celebrate’ the contribution of Roma gipsies to ‘London’s culture and diversity’. The Yard said: ‘The Metropolitan Police polices one of the most diverse cities in Europe and is the biggest single employer in London. ‘It can only succeed by recognising and responding to the needs of the varied communities and workforce it serves and the DCFD plays a key role by providing specialist knowledge and strategic diversity guidance across the organisation.’


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