Met is failing to deal with racism complaints, say IPCC

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A report by the IPCC says the Metropolitan Police Service is failing to deal effectively with race complaints.

The police watchdog is calling for a cultural change in the way force deals with such complaints, supported by training, monitoring and community feedback.

It said after analysing the data officers were not handling race complaints ‘in a sufficiently robust, fair or customer-focused way’.

IPCC Commissioner Jennifer Izekor said as race is ‘a critical issue’ for the Met, the way it deals with complaints about allegedly racist behaviour by police officers is ‘crucial to public confidence’ in the force.

She said: “This report shows that, though there are some examples of good practice, in general there is an unwillingness or inability to deal with these complaints robustly and effectively.

“Too often, complaints are dismissed without proper investigation or resolution, complainants are not properly engaged with, and lessons are not learnt.”

The report found that racial discrimination was only tackled robustly where there was independent evidence of an overt offence such as racist language.

The IPCC said the quality of investigations was ‘in general poor’, and little or no account was taken of its guidance on the issue.

Mrs Izekor said this can exacerbate people’s negative experience, and officers may not be held to account for their actions.

She said: “We know that there is less confidence both in policing and in the complaints system among BME communities.

“If the Metropolitan Police Service is serious about building that confidence, there will need to be a cultural change to complaints handling.”

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