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London cops asked
to "out" themselves

London cops asked
to "out" themselves

The honesty campaign is part of an effort to recruit more gay and lesbian officers.

Hoping to recruit more gay and lesbian officers, London police are asking current gay cops to "out" themselves to officials.

The Metropolitan Police are hoping more gay and lesbian officers can be recruited once there is an accurate number of gays already on the force. The police want to see if the number of gay officers is representative of the wider population.

The outing is part of a report titled "Monitoring for Equality" and states, "Data on sexual orientation is not currently held on Met Human Resources, and therefore no meaningful analysis can be undertaken. To address this, a self-service facility will be available on MetHR in July which will enable staff to self-disclose their sexual orientation. This field will be blocked to ensure that no line managers or HR staff have access to this information."

Gay Police Association coordinator Vic Codling welcomed the news but said it comes a little late.

"[The Association of Chief Police Officers and the GPA] concluded that if the force excluded the opportunity for gay people to identify themselves then it was institutionally homophobic," Codling told UK News. "The [London police] refused in 2004, and the pilot went ahead without them in Leicestershire, Lancashire, and Bedfordshire."

Codling said the pilot was helpful in showing tolerance and encouraging new recruits.

"An inclusive monitoring system allows the individual to identify themselves as they may wish to do," Codling said to UK News. "Long gone are the days when gay people were in the closet. If gay people are OK about themselves, everyone else should be."

Some asked if the new program would lead to quotas.

"A move to recognize that some staff are gay and lesbian is a positive thing," U.K. gay rights group Stonewall told UK News. "Why not monitor this too? As long as it remains voluntary, it is a good thing. As for it leading to quotas, I think it is fair enough for the force to reflect the diversity of the people serving on it." (The Advocate)

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