Following a week of cases concerning alleged racist incidents taking place in the Met police force, it’s been reported that 20 police officers and one police staff member are now under investigation. Scotland Yard have said eight police officers and the member of police staff have now been suspended, and three other officers have been placed on restricted duties.
Three officers from Newham in East London were already under investigation after reports made public last weekend, including alleged racist abuse of a 21-year-old black man in Beckton, east London after the riots that took place in August of last year – the reported incident was recorded on the man’s mobile phone. This officer has been suspended pending investigation, with the victim of the alleged incident calling for the officer to be charged having described it as ‘the worst experience of his life’.
A total of seven new complaints that have been made public include allegations of abuse, bullying and physical assault dating back to 2010. These include racist comments by another three Newham officers between the first three months of this year, an assault involving five officers from the territorial support group against young people in Hyde Park last year and calls with a ‘racial element’ being mishandled by a PC in the force’s central communication command in 2010.
In a statement, Scotland Yard’s deputy commissioner, Craig Mackey said: “The commissioner made it clear after the first alleged incident came to light last weekend that we take the issue of racism extremely seriously. I want to reiterate – there is no room for racism in the Met.
“Whilst any use of racist language is abhorrent, what is reassuring for me is that in the ten cases that have been referred to the IPCC, six involve other officers who have stood up and raised concerns, showing that we are an organisation that will not stand for any racist behaviour.
“These officers were not motivated to report their concerns by recent media coverage as this was done before this week.”
He said that the seven further cases had been referred, or re-referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) making the number of complaints under investigation to 10. Of the latest referrals a spokeswoman for the IPCC said the watchdog had not yet received them and “at this stage the IPCC has not agreed to investigate any of these latest referrals” and would “assess each case on its merits and make a decision regarding the level of IPCC involvement needed.”[Source: Guardian]