Yard plunged into racism crisis

Thurrock Gazette: Scotland Yard's Deputy Commissioner Craig Mackey has insisted 'the Met does not tolerate racism' Scotland Yard's Deputy Commissioner Craig Mackey has insisted 'the Met does not tolerate racism'

Scotland Yard has been plunged into a racism crisis after revealing 10 new complaints have been referred to the police watchdog.

Deputy Commissioner Craig Mackey insisted "the Met does not tolerate racism" as he revealed seven allegations had been reported after three officers were suspended over claims of offensive comments to colleagues.

It comes just days after the force vowed to get to the bottom of "very damaging" footage of one officer apparently racially abusing a man and another allegedly assaulting a teenage boy last summer. A total of five officers have been suspended over the fresh allegations.

Mr Mackey warned there would be further referrals as he announced he had commissioned a review of complaints relating to alleged racism "to check the progress of ongoing cases". He said: "We have been working closely with the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) on this. Today we have referred seven cases to the IPCC, in addition to the three cases already reported in the media. As the review continues there may be further referrals.

"All these cases were in the process of being considered by the MPS and five officers and staff had been, and still are, suspended. Four cases had been referred to the IPCC previously and passed back for local investigation. However these have now been re-referred as part of my review and they have agreed to look at them again.

"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."

Allegations of bullying, abuse and physical assault were outlined in the new cases made public. Claims include: bullying by a number of police officers and staff against PCSOs over an 18-month period in Wandsworth; an assault involving five officers from the Territorial Support Group against several youngsters in Hyde Park in 2011; complaint from a member of the public of racial abuse by an unidentified police officer whilst in Camden in January.

Other claims include: mishandling of calls with a "racial element" by a Pc working in the force's central communication command in 2010; racist language by a Pc working in Westminster between May 2010 and August last year; racist language in Islington by a Pc and a member of police staff, reported on March 26; officer convicted on March 26 of racially aggravated public order offences that were investigated by British Transport Police - a mandatory referral to the IPCC.

In relation to the new allegations, an IPCC spokeswoman said: "We await receipt of the seven referrals from the MPS and we will assess each case on its merits and make a decision regarding the level of IPCC involvement needed. At this stage the IPCC has not agreed to investigate any of these latest referrals."

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