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Nusrit Mehtab – Off the Beat

Off The Beat
Nusrit Mehtab

October 17 @ 10:30 11:30

Over the course of her 30 year long career in the Metropolitan Police, Nusrit Mehtab was subjected to and witnessed a host of racist and sexist behaviour.  This included fellow officers refusing to use her name, being sent out alone on nighttime foot patrols, witnessing male officers make lewd and derogatory comments about women leaving night clubs, seeing female officers being physically groped by male colleagues, and being instructed by a senior officer not to report a newly graffitied swastika on a wall inside the secure area of a London police station. 

In Off the Beat she recounts what it was like for a Muslim woman of Pakistani heritage to work in the Met, and she proposes solutions to bring about real change and overcome the deep, cultural problems that continue to plague the force today.  

When Nusrit Mehtab joined the Metropolitan Police in the late 80s, she entered an organisation that was rife with racism, misogyny and homophobia. She had grown up in East London not trusting the police and had never seen a police officer who looked like her – a woman with brown skin – but she wanted to change that from the inside. Nusrit stayed in the force for 30 years, battling both for herself and for other officers facing discrimination to get fair opportunities and be treated equally. 

From the very beginning, Nusrit was marked as an outsider. Fellow officers refused to patrol with her and she was subject to frequent, demeaning ‘pranks’.  As her career progressed, things didn’t get easier, instead her attempts to get promoted were met with hostility and ridicule. Her experience was not unique: it was also the experience of many of her black and Asian colleagues.

After spending 30 years on the frontline and having risen from PC to superintendent, Nusrit decided that she had no alternative but to resign from the Met, initiating an employment tribunal against them for racism and misogyny the process.

Now a lecturer in policing law and criminology at the University of East London, she is involved in training the next generation of police officers.  She is confident that it is possible to create a more inclusive police force that is safer for both officers and the public.

Nusrit Mehtab was born in Pakistan and came to the UK with her family as a baby.  During her 30 year career in the Met she worked in some of the most challenging areas of policing, including Serious and Organised Crime, Counter Terrorism, Clubs and Vice.  She was the first Muslim woman of Pakistani heritage to become an undercover officer in the UK.In January 2020, after a career spanning 30 years, Nusrit left the Met and instigated an employment tribunal against them. At that time, she was one of the highest-ranking Asian women in the force.  Nusrit is now a lecturer in policing law and criminology at the University of East London.  By teaching police recruits she now hopes she can change the force for the better from the outside.

2 Bridport Road
Dorchester, Dorset DT1 1RR United Kingdom
01305 262045
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