The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) was today handed an investigatory mandate into claims of racial abuse in the Metropolitan Police. Cases involving racism will now be automatically referred to the independent police watchdog. This has come after a turbulent two weeks for the Met in which 18 officers have fallen subject to investigation due to racist allegations.
The announcement could be seen as a damning evaluation of the Crown Prosecution Services' (CPS) handling of recent racism complaints. A well-publicised case involving a young black male from east London, who recorded race-related comments towards him from a Met officer just after last summer's riots, has brought the CPS' handling of such cases into the spotlight. The CPS originally dismissed the case, despite audible evidence incriminating the officer involved.
It remains to be seen whether the move will be seen as a sufficient response by the Black Police Association (BPA) who have recently been outspoken in their condemnation of race relations between the Met and the public. Ten days ago Supt Leroy Logan of the BPA demanded that racism be "put back on the agenda". Today's announcement will hopefully go some way to restoring public confidence in accountability within the Met.
Photo by Yorkshire stacked from Londonist Flickr Pool.