7 Oct 2008

Race tension damaging faith in UK Police


The government last night moved to intervene in the race row convulsing Britain's biggest police force, after black officers announced they were in open rebellion.

The Metropolitan Black Police Association began a formal boycott of the Metropolitan police yesterday, saying the force was so riddled with discrimination that ethnic minorities should not apply to join it.

The home secretary, Jacqui Smith, last night responded with a nationwide assessment of how ethnic minorities are treated by the police.

Smith, who expressed disappointment with the boycott by black police officers, said the police minister, Vernon Coaker, would carry out a rapid, two-week examination of the recruitment and promotion prospects of minorities.

"We need a police service which understands the communities it serves and represents those communities and the whole country," she said.

The announcement followed an inquiry ordered by London mayor Boris Johnson into the issues raised by the BPA, and also comes after a BBC Panorama programme revealed widespread dissatisfaction among ethnic minority officers.

The Guardian