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Exclusive: Metropolitan Police HR director advocates accountability through diversity

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Increasing diversity in the Metropolitan Police is essential to making it more accountable, says HR director Martin Tiplady.

Speaking exclusively to HR, Tiplady says that creating a force that "looks like London" will foster confidence among the public. This is particularly relevant when it comes to some of the more controversial tactics adopted by the police, such as stop and search, he adds.

"I do think it is important to justify what we do in stop and search. I have a stop and account system - we account to communities. HR fits into the equation in that, if we appear to look like London, we give communities confidence in our reasons for employing such tactics," Tiplady says, adding that the service has one of the most progressive positive action policies to promote diversity.

Later this month the Metropolitan Police Authority, chaired by Mayor Boris Johnson, unveils findings of its inquiry into race and faith in the Met.

The service's reputation has recently been tarnished by accusations of heavy-handiness in the policing of the G20 protests. Footage of officers hitting people during the demonstrations, including newspaper vendor Ian Tomlinson who later died, are a blow to commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson. At an event to celebrate achievements in HR on the evening of the G20 summit, he congratulated those at the frontline for doing a good job. In light of later complaints, he has now invited Her Majesty's chief inspector of constabulary, Denis O'Connor, to conduct a review of related public order policing tactics.

Tiplady ensures health and safety and counselling support is available to help officers deal with such high-profile incidents.

"Some of the most impressive work you can see anywhere in any organisation is the scenario planning that exists in the Met around public disorder. When I see pictures of cops with baton shields up, it depresses me, but there is also a strong sense that they are organised in the most sophisticated plan imaginable," he says.

Read the whole interview