Kevin Maxwell: 'I was meant to be the future. I ticked the boxes'

A gay and mixed race former police officer has told the Commons about the mistreatment to which he was subjected by the Met

The Metropolitan Police has a policy of “cover-up and containment” that punishes officers who complain of racism within its ranks, a former detective who won an employment tribunal against the force claims.

Kevin Maxwell, 35, who left the force last year after a bruising three-year legal battle, told MPs he was intimidated and victimised after revealing racist and homophobic behaviour before his personal information was leaked by police to the media.

Mr Maxwell, who is gay and of mixed race, said that senior officers failed to properly investigate his complaints about colleagues when he worked at Heathrow Airport as part of the counter-terrorist unit.

He believes that the force tried to discredit and intimidate him into silence, which resulted in his suffering from chronic depression.

An employment tribunal in 2012 found the Met responsible for 44 counts of harassment and discrimination against Mr Maxwell. Most of the findings were upheld on appeal.

Mr Maxwell yesterday delivered his documents about the case to the House of Commons. He claims the Met tried to destroy him and that his case showed that the force had failed to learn lessons in the 20 years since  the failed investigation into the  Stephen Lawrence killing and the  subsequent damning conclusion by an independent inquiry that the force was “institutionally racist”.

“I should have been what they have been banging on about for the last 20 years,” Mr Maxwell told The Independent. “I am meant to be the future. I ticked all of those diversity boxes. Where did they go wrong? Is there still institutional racism and homophobia? Yes, without a doubt.”

He added in his submission that the “force’s culture of containment and covering-up moreover, punishes the victims and not perpetrators”.

He spares some of his most damning criticism over the leak of his personal information to The Sun, which never ran a story. Following a complaint by Mr Maxwell’s former partner to the Independent Police Complaints Commission, the Met carried out a leak inquiry that revealed last year that two payments had been made by the newspaper to journalists for information but a police report said there was “no indication” that money had gone to a public official. Mr Maxwell wrote to the Home Secretary Theresa May in October last year, but has yet to receive a reply.

In Mr Maxwell’s submission, he suggests that the leak about one of the Yard’s own officers suggests that “senior managers in the MPS (Metropolitan Police Service) either approved this unauthorised (and possibly criminal) activity or have lost control of the officers under their command.”

Mr Maxwell, who had wanted to be a police officers since childhood, transferred to the Met from Greater Manchester Police in 2008. He claimed that for the following eight months, he was harassed over his race and sexual orientation. He says that he and another ethnic minority officer were used as “buffers” to search black and Asian passengers before they were handed to white colleagues. He was told that the theory was based on the idea that passengers were less likely to complain if they were stopped by black officers.

He says that fellow officers made disparaging remarks about gays, including a comment by one instructor about a man featured on training materials that he said was as “gay as a gay in a gay tea shop”. Mr Maxwell said he first complained in 2008, the year before the start of mental health problems which he said was as a result of the victimisation.

When he raised complaints about his treatment, they were first dismissed and then he was pressured into dropping the claims, he said.

He returned to work after his medical treatment but resigned in the face of further disputes with the force. However, even after receiving his P45 he was reinstated and sacked in December last year for discrediting the force and “undermining public confidence”. “The senior leadership know about me but don’t know what to do with me,” he said yesterday in advance of a further hearing into unfair dismissal.

After his departure from the force, he remains without work, living on £70-a-week benefit in a hostel and on medication.

“It’s not about me though all I have ever known is policing,” he said. “I want to raise awareness now for those who are still suffering.”

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Recruitment Genius: HR Manager

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are in need of a HR Manage...

h2 Recruit Ltd: Business Development Manager - HR Consultancy - £65,000 OTE

£35000 - £40000 per annum + £65,000 OTE: h2 Recruit Ltd: London, Birmingham, M...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas