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Racism complaints against Islington police revealed as officer faces sack over vile language claims

PUBLISHED: 12:39 18 May 2012 | UPDATED: 15:05 18 May 2012

Councillor Claudia Webbe

Councillor Claudia Webbe

Archant

An Islington police officer could be sacked over claims of racism as the Gazette reveals there have been dozens of similar complaints in recent years.

The Pc and a Metropolitan Police staff member are alleged to have made racist comments while on duty in the borough on March 26.

Islington police have refused to disclose details of the incident, but the Pc has been suspended and faces a gross misconduct hearing. The other staff member has resigned.

Figures obtained by the Gazette under the Freedom of Information Act reveal there were 31 other complaints of racism made against Islington officers by the public between January 1 2009 and March 31 this year.

Bunhill ward Cllr Claudia Webbe, who has campaigned against police racism and is chairman of the Operation Trident advisory group, said: “This could be the tip of the iceberg even in Islington.

“Far too many people have stories to tell about their experiences at the hands of police that have not necessarily gone forward and put in a formal complaint.”

In one of the 31 incidents, a woman alleges that an officer called her a “f****** dirty foreigner”.

In another case, when two officers were searching the complainant, they were accused of saying: “If you don’t like it, why don’t you go back to your own country. In your country they just shoot you.”

In a third, a man said he was stopped and told it was because he fitted the description of a drug dealer.

When he asked if it was because he was black, one officer allegedly replied: “Yes, it’s because you’re black. You’re driving a flash car and you look young.”

None of the 31 incidents led to police taking significant action, although in seven cases, including the three mentioned, there was a “local resolution”, which could mean an apology was issued.

The number of complaints has fallen each year, with 21 in 2009, five in 2010 and three in 2011.

No action was taken in 23 cases, with 15 deemed unsubstantiated or no case to answer, while one case is ongoing.

The complainant alleges police blocked his e-mail because he is black.

Acting Chief Supt Simon Corkill said police are committed to taking action over cases of alleged racism.

He added: “Local people rightly expect their police officers to demonstrate the highest standards of professionalism at all times.

“Any allegation of racism will be investigated thoroughly and appropriate action taken.

“Where there is a case to answer we will deal robustly with officers who fail to meet our high standards.”


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