New race row surfaces in UK’’s Metropolitan police force

February 25th, 2009 - 3:19 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Feb.25 (ANI): A new race row has surfaced within the Metropolitan Police amid claims that black community support officers have been forced to travel in different police vans to white ones. According to The Telegraph, the damaging allegations of an “apartheid” culture among some police community support officers at a central London police station came as the new head of Scotland Yard said that it was no longer “appropriate or useful” to brand his force “institutionally racist”.
Sir Paul Stephenson admitted that there was still “much work to do” but said that he wanted his officers to be released from the burden of the label.
After the new allegations emerged, he added: “Every story of failure, and inevitably there will be some, every headline properly highlighting any remaining pocket of stupidity and bigotry will add to the challenge.”
Asad Saeed launches the race discrimination case later this week, which centres on two white police community support officers (PCSOs) at Belgravia station who have now resigned from the force after facing charges of gross misconduct.
Saeed claims that they threatened ethnic minority support officers with violence. He outlines one incident when a black female PCSO was allegedly ejected from a van by a white colleague and told to get into “the black van”.
There are also claims that one white PCSO “boasted” that his family were all members of the British National Party.
The case has led to a major review of the duties of PCSOs in Westminster and how they are supervised.
In a statement, the Met said it would be inappropriate to comment on the case but confirmed that “Asad Saeed, a serving Police Community Support Officer, has lodged an employment tribunal claim for race discrimination”. (ANI)

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