According to Ms Du Boulay the real surprise is that the allegations of racism in the police are being made public.

"It is absolutely right that the Met come out and make this statement but we feel that they have been forced into this position. What we are really interested in is seeing what sort of action will now be taken following this (statement)."

In total the referrals to the police watchdog involve 20 officers and one civilian police worker, including five in the borough of Newham, where this summer's Olympic Games are to be held.

Details of the investigations comes after the Met Commissioner, Bernard Hogan-Howe, stressed his determination to stamp out racism in the force and urged officers to report their colleagues if they made inappropriate remarks.

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