Around 7.2 per cent of Metropolitan police officers identify as gay, lesbian or bisexual, according to data obtained by PA news agency. The Met is the UK’s largest police force with over 33,500 officers looking after the Greater London area and national counter terrorism policing.
Trigger Warning: This story discusses the use of homophobic language, which might be distressing to some readers. For 24 hour crisis support and suicide prevention call Lifeline on 13 11 14. For Australia-wide LGBTQI peer support call QLife on 1800 184 527 or webchat.
PA news agency obtained the data under the freedom of information laws and said that the numbers are likely to be higher as officers might be reluctant to share information fearing homophobic abuse or barriers to promotions.
There was data available only for around 40% of Met police force, with 92.8% describing themselves as heterosexual, 5.1 % as gay or lesbian and 2.1 % as bisexual. There were only four out transgender Met police officers.
The Met police figures were not considered in the overall data calculated by the news agency, which took into account only those where at least 50 % of the police officers had responded to the questions about sexuality.
Report Finds Sexism, Racism and Homophobia
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— Metropolitan Police (@metpoliceuk) December 29, 2021
Sussex had the highest number of officers identifying as gay or lesbian (7.2%), followed by Humberside (6.2) and Hertfordshire (5.8 %). The data showed that less than 3 % of the police officers in England and Wales identified as gay or lesbian.
“I think what the data suggests is that there is probably a higher concentration of officers who are LGB in areas where there is a more welcoming environment for them – that’s where they will gravitate,” said Lee Broadstock, chief inspector with Greater Manchester Police and co-chairman of the LGBT+ network.
In February 2022, Metropolitan Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick stepped down after London Mayor Sadiq Khan said he had no confidence in her leadership to bring about change in the Met.
An operation Hotton investigation found Met officers had exchanged messages about raping and beating women and made racist and homophobic comments. The officers exchanged homophobic messages including, “you f*#king gay” and “f*#k you bender”.
If you feel distressed reading the story, you can reach out to support services.
For 24 hour crisis support and suicide prevention call Lifeline on 13 11 14
For Australia-wide LGBTQI peer support call QLife on 1800 184 527 or webchat.