Inquiry Into Met Racism Follows Recruitment Boycott

Dean Nicholas
By Dean Nicholas Last edited 123 months ago
Inquiry Into Met Racism Follows Recruitment Boycott

Sir Ian Blair may be on his way out, but one of the issues that defined his tenure as the Met's top cop rumbles on. An inquiry into institutional racism within the Metropolitan police has been ordered by the Mayor, following an campaign by the Black Police Association to ward potential recruits from joining a "hostile and racist environment".

Removing the stigma of racism within the Force was a signature Blair goal, one that enraged elements of the right-wing press through what they considered "politically correct" policing, but a decade after the Macpherson report described the "institutional racism" endemic to the Force, many consider the modern Met a more welcoming culture. Yet Blair's time as commissioner ended amidst a row with one of the country's most senior Asian officers, Tarique Ghaffur, who was put on gardening leave after claiming his superior was racially biased. The BPA now have endorsed Ghaffur's claims, and aim to boycott all recruitment initiatives until the issue is addressed. Meanwhile, Britain's top black officer suggested that ethnic minority cops "don't feel there is a level playing field".

Boris Johnson's response? He has appointed the deputy chairwoman of the Metropolitan Police Association, Cindy Butts, to investigate. In an interview she said that, while the Met has improved over the past decade, more needs to be done. It's perhaps a reflection on how seriously the Mayor takes his new role as Chair of the MPA that he has reacted so swiftly.

Image from edscoble's Flickrstream via the Londonist pool

Last Updated 06 October 2008