London police to revamp workplace harassment complaints process

London Police Service will be overhauling their procedures on handling workplace harassment and discrimination complaints.
London Police Service will be overhauling their procedures on handling workplace harassment and discrimination complaints. Google Streetview

High-ranking members of the London Police Service are saying that changes will be made to how they handle complaints of workplace harassment.

The service is looking at adding a civilian human resource position as they look at overhauling their workplace harassment and discrimination procedures.

Police Chief John Parre made the comments during the London Police Services Board meeting Thursday.

READ MORE: Both men and women alleging workplace harassment at London Police Service

Parre says currently investigations are done from the professional standards branch, but creating a civilian human resources position would be more appropriate.

“It’s more of an HR function, so we are looking at moving that out of the professional standards branch, in fact, we’re looking at developing a whole new position within our human resources branch that will ensure fairness and objectivity.”

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Deputy chief Steve Williams says they want to rebuild the policies from scratch, but admits it will take time to get it right.

READ MORE: ‘Important vote’ brought to city manager: London’s firefighter union

“It’s not perfect, it’s always subject to improvement. We are certainly aware of the conversations that have been occurring in the community and across the country in recent months. It was a few weeks ago that we decided as an executive to do a complete overhaul of our harassment and workplace discrimination procedures,” Williams told the Police Services Board Thursday but added that the changes won’t happen overnight.

“It’s a very complex work environment that we work in, it’s a mixture of sworn and civilian members, and it’s a high-stress environment at times.”

These comments come after allegations of workplace harassment among both civilian and uniformed members of the police service.

READ MORE: Nearly half of employees at London Police Service on sunshine list

Last week, Megan Walker from the London Abused Women’s Centre says she received five or six messages that complained of harassment on the job.

She says the complaints came from both men and women, with some allegations involving sexual harassment.

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