Yet another inquiry into racism in British police

October 7th, 2008 - 6:31 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Oct 7 (IANS) The British home minister Tuesday ordered an appraisal of police recruitment and promotion practices in two provinces of Britain after an association of black and Asian policemen urged ethnic minorities not to join the police, alleging racism.Jacqui Smith said that her police minister, Vernon Coaker, will carry out a two-week appraisal of police forces in England and Wales.

The move comes just a day after the Conservative mayor of London, Boris Johnson, ordered his own inquiry into allegations of racism in the Metropolitan Police, which is responsible for policing the British capital and its surrounding areas.

The Metropolitan Black Police Association (MBPA) announced Monday it will use an advertising campaign to “actively discourage” black and Asian Britons from joining the force because they were treated unfairly.

Smith responded: “The police service is determined to offer fair and equal opportunities to all its members, regardless of age, gender, ethnicity or background.

“Over the last 10 years minority ethnic representation in the police service has doubled. However, we accept there is a long way to go, and we are determined to work with the police to achieve that.”

Allegations of racism in the police have been aired beyond London.

Kent Chief Constable Mike Fuller, Britain’s most senior black police officer, has said ethnic minority police have to work “twice as hard’ as their white colleagues in order to succeed.

Fuller said he himself had fallen prey to racism, with people having tried to block past promotions.

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