'My role was to follow the evidence' says man behind institutional racism report (From Harrow Times)
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'My role was to follow the evidence' says man behind investigation into institutional racism at Harrow Borough Council
The man behind an independent investigation into Harrow Borough Council says no organisation or person has produced any evidence of institutional racism.
A 36-page report written by Harrow police commander Dal Babu OBE into allegations of institutional racism in Harrow Council was published today.
It states that during the four-week investigation, which stated on March 17 this year, no evidence was produced to support the allegations.
According to the report, claims were first made publicly in an extraordinary meeting of Harrow Council on May 23 last year.
During the investigation, the former chief superintendent communicated with 33 members of staff and councillors in face to face interviews or by written submissions.
Speaking to the Harrow Times, Mr Babu said: “My role throughout this process was to follow the evidence put before me.
“It was suggested to me by the leader of the Independent Labour group that he had evidence of 30 members of staff who had experienced institutional racism.
“During my time of the investigation and to this day no one has come forward and no one has provided me with any evidence of institutional racism.
“Making an allegation like this is a very very serious matter, and I would have thought any making it would want to follow it up with evidence.”
He also pointed out it was 11 months since the allegation was originally made, but no proof had been brought forward to him.
Despite finding no evidence of institutional racism Mr Babu did find a ‘clear disproportion in staffing numbers at middle and senior grades in the council’.
There are no Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) officers at director level at the council and only 11 per cent at service manager level.
Recommendations put forward in the report include ensuring managers and staff are made fully aware of cultural events to ensure respect for all faiths and beliefs.
He also recommended the council reviews existing senior appointments panel process in terms of recruitment, develop comprehensive leadership and mentoring programme for BAME staff and relaunch BAME workers group for council staff.
Responding to the report, council leader Cllr Susan Hall said: “It is a relief that this investigation has not found the council is institutionally racist and it is a relief to know that none of the staff has been subjected to that.
“I hope this report shows we are open and transparent. We have recommendations to work on and we will make sure we are more representative of the people we are serving.”
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