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  • Racism within the Met Police

    by Sunny
    25th February, 2009 at 12:35 am    

    The Evening Standard reported yesterday:

    The claims are made by PCSO Asad Saeed in a race discrimination case and centre on two white PCSOs at Belgravia station who have now resigned from the force after facing charges of gross misconduct. He claims they effectively ran an “apartheid” culture at the station where ethnic minority support officers were threatened with violence by the two white officers. The claims contained in a document to be submitted to the tribunal include the allegations of a “white van, black van” for PCSO staff. In particular, he outlines one incident when a black woman PCSO was ejected from one van by a white colleague and told to get into “the black van”. The two men would also play a “spot the PCSO” game when a van would drive around at night looking for ethnic minority officers.

    There are also claims that one white PCSO “boasted” that his family were all members of the British National Party.

    Mr Saeed is claiming discrimination after he was sacked by the force in 2007 for allegedly beating up a vagrant outside a McDonald’s in Victoria Street, Westminster. He was re-instated on appeal last year but his alleged offence was upheld and he has received a final written warning. The Muslim officer is claiming he was set up by a racist clique of white PCSOs backed by police officers at Belgravia station. He states that CCTV footage of the McDonald’s incident found he acted properly. He accuses the force of failing to investigate his claims of racism at Belgravia and dismissing his case even when one senior officer found evidence of racism by one of the white support officers. An investigation found that concerns about racism at the station were not reported because ethnic minority officers were frightened of one of the white PCSOs and had no confidence they would be investigated. In a significant comment, a panel of officers examining Mr Saeed’s case said the finding was “disturbing” saying the “lessons of Lawrence appeared to need re-learning”.

    Scary stuff. Not sure Trevor Phillips was right to claim that things at the Met Police are alright now. This row has blown up massively in his face.

                  Post to

    Filed in: London Politics,Race politics

    6 Comments below   |  

    Reactions: Twitter, blogs

    1. douglas clark — on 25th February, 2009 at 1:49 am  

      Well, maybe.

      The fact that the two folk have now resigned, push coming to shove comes to mind:

      who have now resigned from the force after facing charges of gross misconduct

      Dunno whether this is the Met ‘dealing’ with it or not.

      Another case for the courts.

      Expect another pay off.

      And nothing resolved…

    2. Refresh — on 25th February, 2009 at 2:01 am  

      Sounds like a Dirty Harry script. Magnum Force I believe.

    3. The Dude — on 25th February, 2009 at 8:25 am  

      Bleeding hell! Here we go again. Will the folks at the MET ever learn? Like Doreen Lawrence, I fear not.

    4. Rayyan — on 25th February, 2009 at 10:26 am  

      I saw this on some of the evening front pages last night, but on the radio the story was all about Paul Stephenson saying how the Met wasn’t racist - across multiple stations there was no mention of this at all, just endless quotes from Stephenson about how things had changed, and from Lib Dem MEP Claude Moraes gushing over how un-racist London was in comparison to other European capitals (no mention of its comparison to other UK cities, tellingly). It’s not on the BBC News website front page, or even the Guardian’s website front page.

      My understanding is that when a big news story hits the evening front pages, if it is “big” enough it will be featured on the following morning’s front pages. Has it been on any front pages yet? This should be a huge story, and you’d have thought the media would’ve jumped on the chance to show up Stephenson’s “It’s all right” remarks with this awful and unacceptable example of continuing racism in the Met.

    5. damon — on 26th February, 2009 at 9:26 am  

      This case (if it’s true) is scandalous. And I’m sure most Met police officers would think so too.

      To me, the most important thing about the police and claims of racism within it is not to get hung up on incidents like this, but try to get to the bottom of why the Black Police Association still encourages BME people NOT to join the Met police.

      I heard the BPA leader Commander Ali Dizaei being interviewed by George Galloway (on Galloway’s radio programme) on friday night. I think that Dizaei and the BPA may actually be the problem. I have heard him speak several times now, and I think te BPA is too radical for the conservative leadership of the Met.

      It’s not that I disagree with what they might propose, but that their politics is antagonistic to the Met as it actually exists. So it will call the Met (still) institutionaly racist, and then demand to be recognised at the higest level.
      It comes across as blackmail (to me).
      It’s like voicing a negative opinion of Ken Livingstone’s race advisor Lee Jasper because of some of the political views he favoured - and then being called a racist because you dared to have a contrary opinion.
      Actually, I heard Lee Jasper do just that on Ken Livingstone’s radio show on saturday. He called a Tory member of the London Assembly a racist - because the Tory had been outspoken about Lee Jasper’s politics and some of the groups he had funded.

      That is the kind of ploitics I don’t like.
      So we had the ridicoulos situation of Tarique Ghaffur saying that Ian Blair had behaved in a (personally) racist way towards him - and then never backing up that claim by saying what it was that happened, or was said.
      In my opinion, throwing around accusations of racism (that might be unfounded) is almost as bad as racism itself. And unfounded claims can actually create racist resentment to appear, where there might have been none before. Certainly, if I was a policeman I might get a bit hacked off with accusations of racism from members of the public, if I was doing my job the best I could in a non racist manner.

      I was at a petrol station in Moss Side Manchester in the summer. Early on a sunday morning , and there was a (black) guy there with his car, and he came to me and asked if I would give him some money as he was out of petrol. Maybe he was, or maybe he was scamming, but when I declined he said ”You just don’t like black people - is that it? Are you a racist?”

      I can’t tell you how annoying that was. I looked at the guy as he spoke to me at first, and he looked ”street”. In his 40′s, and I got an impression of him that made me not want to give him £5 (or whatever he wanted). I bet he knew people locally who he could have gone to for help. If you grew up in Moss Side and are black, you would surely know so many local people.

      Was I showing prejudice too (like a police officer might do) when I sized this guy up in about two seconds and thought he was just trying it on?

    6. Sergeant T Twining — on 16th April, 2009 at 4:51 pm  

      We learn only what we want to; we may tell you that we learn everything but it isn’t that simple.

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