In the wake of recordings that show a police officer using racist language, the Metropolitan Police (Met) have referred seven cases involving racism to the Independent Police Complaints Commission, in addition to three already reported in the media. Eight officers and one civilian staff member are currently suspended and three officers are on restricted duties.
Six of the ten cases were reported by fellow officers, which prompted Deputy Commissioner Craig Mackey to say
we are an organisation that will not stand for any racist behaviour
However, Channel 4 News discovered that of 120 officers found guilty of racist behaviour 1999-2011, just one was dismissed. Six were forced to resign and 21 received a sanction of some sort (usually a fine). Brian Paddick, Lib Dem Mayoral candidate and former senior Met Officer, has highlighted a report he wrote back in 2004 that warned of racism within the Met, but the report was buried. We spoke to Paddick a few days ago and he expanded:
The difficulty the police have is they don’t want to further undermine public confidence by admitting there’s a problem with racism, but if you don’t admit there’s a problem you can’t take any steps to deal with it.
With community relations low after last summer’s riots and stop and search still an issue (you’re far more likely to be subjected to stop and search if you’re from an ethnic minority, yet an arrest rate of around 6% indicates the police are targeting the wrong people), cases of racism within the force and figures suggesting management aren’t cracking down on it makes the Met look like it hasn’t made much progress since the Macpherson Report labelled it “institutionally racist”.