Twenty Met Officers referred to police watchdog over racism claims
PUBLISHED April 5, 2012
Ten new cases were referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission after the force conducted a review of complaints.
In total the referrals 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.
Five police officers have now been suspended over allegations of racism while the IPCC investigates the claims.
Three officers from the Borough of Newham in East London were suspended yesterday after allegations surfaced that they had used racist language in a police station.
It is understood they were reported by their colleagues.
Last month two other officers in the same Borough were suspended after it was claimed they one racially abused and another assaulted two young black men in custody.
PC Alex MacFarlane was caught on tape allegedly racially abusing 21-year-old Maura Demetrio on August 11 last year following the London riots.
Later that day another officer, PC Joe Harrington was captured on CCTV allegedly assaulting a 15-year-old black youth who had been arrested.
Both incidents are now being investigated by the IPCC.
Deputy Commissioner Craig Mackey warned that more cases could be referred to the police watchdog stressing that the "Met does not tolerate racism".
Among the fresh complaints referred to the IPCC are allegations of racist language, bullying and assault by officers in Boroughs across the capital.
They include allegations of bullying of PCSOs in Wandsworth; an assault involving five officers from the Territorial Support Group (TSG) against several youngsters in Hyde Park in 2011; a complaint from a member of the public of racial abuse by an unidentified police officer in Camden in January; racist language by an officer working in Westminster and racist language by an officer and member of police staff in Islington last month.
The development comes just two days after Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Bernard Hogan-Howe, urged officers to report inappropriate behaviour by their colleagues.
Speaking outside Scotland Yard, Mr Mackey said: "Whilst any use of racist language is abhorrent, what is reassuring for me is that in the ten cases that have been referred to the IPCC, six involve other officers who have stood up and raised concerns, showing that we are an organisation that will not stand for any racist behaviour.
"These officers were not motivated to report their concerns by recent media coverage as this was done before this week. I will always want to work in an organisation where someone who believes they've seen unacceptable behaviour feels they can challenge it and report it - knowing action will be taken, as it has been in these cases and as it will be whenever it occurs. The Met does not tolerate racism."
In an address to Scotland Yard's 48,000 staff, Mr Hogan-Howe said he had been "shocked" by the revelations and added: "I will not stand for any racism or racists. We have a duty to challenge or report any behaviour by colleagues which is less than the high standard demanded by the service and Londoners themselves. You cannot avoid that duty. Nor can I."
:: Meanwhile rank-and-file police officers from across England and Wales are to take part in a march through central London in protest against 20 per cent budget cuts and the proposed Winsor reforms to pay and conditions.
The route of the march, to be held on May 10th, will pass the Home Office, the Treasury, Whitehall, Parliament and the national police memorial site.
The Police Federation, which is balloting members on the right to strike, said the event would "highlight the unprecedented attack on policing by this government and the consequences that these cuts will have for public safety".