BBC survey finds police racism complaints upheld but few are being dismissed

About 800 allegations of racism against police officers across UK were upheld yet only 12 per cent of these resulted to dismissal of erring officers, a new report suggests.

The findings came after BBC’s freedom of information (FOI) request last December 2014. Requests were sent to 43 police forces in England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and three nationwide police forces.

BBC said that while 800 of the complaints were upheld during 2009 to 2014, only 20 officers were dismissed.

The report came after Channel 4 revealed in June 2014 that its own FOI request found out that only 1 per cent of all complaints filed by the public against racist officers have been upheld. Channel 4 said the police only upheld 77 complaints out of a total of 7,963.

Throughout its existence, UK’s police force has been troubled by issues concerning racism. In the wake of investigations brought about by the controversial death of Stephen Lawrence, a 1999 finding dubbed as the Macpherson Report concluded that the Metropolitan Police force as institutionally racist.

Several high-profile racism cases has also rocked the nation’s police force throughout the years. Back in 2003, the Met settled for £250,000 in damages to Sylbert Farquharson as a result of violent and racist assault by its officer. In 2012, musician Don Lorenzo, who previously toured with the Clash, was paid £17,000 after being subjected to racial abuse by a police officer in West Midlands.

Alan Goodwin, Derbyshire Police's Deputy Chief Constable and national policing lead for police complaints and misconduct of the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) told the BBC last December 30, 2014 that racism has no place in UK’s police force and the ACPO is committed to riding the police force of racist officers.

Goodwin said: “Around 300 officers per year end their careers because of misconduct and, proportionally speaking, officers have a much higher chance of being dismissed where it is felt that there is a case to answer for racism.”


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