Metropolitan Police racism ‘is worse’ since Stephen Lawrence report

12:29 07 April 2012

Racism among police officers in London is not confined to a few rogue individuals, according to an expert who helped compile the report into Stephen Lawrence’s slaying which found the Metropolitan Police institutionally racist.

In a letter to London’s top cop, Dr Richard Stone told commissioner Bernard Hogan Howe that he fears racism in the force is more than “just a few bad apples.”

Mr Stone said: “Here we are 14 years later with the worst kind of blatant and violent racism by police. Even worse is that the officers appear to be doing it openly in front of colleagues from whom they have no fear of being reported.

He added: “Such a group of constables could not be routinely racist like this without their seniors being aware, and telling them to stop. I fear this may alas be more than ‘just a few bad apples’.”

The latest controversy was sparked by audio footage of an episode last summer, during which black teenager Mario Demetrio was racially abused by an officer during his arrest, on August 11 - during the London riots.

Scotland Yard has suspended nine members of staff, while it investigates 10 incidents involving 20 people.

Dr Stone’s letter of condemnation, seen by the Independent newspaper, comes after the Met was accused being “deaf” to issues around racism in its ranks by a founder of the body black officers.

Supt Logan, a founder member and former chairman of both the London and National Black Police Association (NBPA), said attitudes to race had got worse since the 1999 report on institutional racism.

“Every year since 2001, the young people have been saying how they believe they are being dealt with disrespectfully, not shown enough dignity, casual racist comments were being used,” he said.

“We were telling the Met Police, some two or three commissioners back, this is what is coming up.

“But like so many things, it lands on deaf ears until such a time as a free press - the media - get hold of it and forces people into action.”

Pc Alex MacFarlane has been temporarily stripped of his duties after a recording was made of Demetrio being called a “n*****”.

A string of allegations including the bullying of PCSOs by a number of police officers and staff over an 18-month period in Wandsworth, as well as incidents Hyde Park last year, Westminster and in Islington are currently under investigation.

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