Bacon placed in Muslim police officer’s boots as racist behaviour 'dismissed' by Met
A Muslim police officer described how he had bacon placed inside his boots while a Sikh colleague had his beard cut as part of racist behaviour written off in the Metropolitan Police as “pranks” and “banter”, a landmark review has found.
Numerous examples of appalling racism and discrimination were highlighted in the report with serving officers describing the daily ordeal they faced at the hands of some of their colleagues.
One officer, who was a practising Muslim, described how he had been targeted because of his faith but had been too afraid to speak up.
He told the review team: “I found bacon left in my boots inside my locked locker. I was horrified but kept an open mind as to who this could be.
“I was hoping to identify who the culprit was and take appropriate action. I didn’t want to be branded a person who played the race card and out of fear of reprisals did not tell anyone at the time.”
Baroness Louise Casey's excoriating review, which echoes the 1999 Macpherson report into the murder of the black teenager Stephen Lawrence, found Britain’s biggest police force had lost the trust and confidence of the people it is supposed to keep safe.
Another officer said told the review: “There have been a number of incidents where baptised [Sikh] officers are picked on. One officer had his beard cut because an officer thought it was funny.
“Another officer had his turban put into a shoe box because they thought it was funny. Unless we educate our officers then this will happen.”
The report said racist and other discriminatory behaviour was often “tolerated, ignored or dismissed as ‘banter’.”
It detailed how one black officer, who worked for PaDP guarding a building, was referred to by his colleagues as a “gate monkey”, which he said he took as a racial slur.
One senior officer described how he was asked in a meeting last year: “Did you get to where you got because you are black?”
‘Ugly truth is that Met is riddled with racism’
Another former officer told the review: “The ugly truth is that the organisation is riddled with racism - how much have people like me acquiesced?”
A black female officer described how she had been on patrol with a more senior officer when they intercepted a white female member of the public buying drugs from a black person.
She said the senior officer had called the white woman a “n----- lover”, a “slag”, and a “dirty woman”.
The black officer said the experience had left her feeling as if she wanted to resign from the Met.
The review found that black officers were less likely to get promoted and were 81 per cent more likely to find themselves in the misconduct system.
It warned that at the current rate of recruitment, it would take 39 years for the Met to reflect the diversity of the community that it polices.
Dame Louise said that 24 years on from the Macpherson report following the murder of the black teenager Stephen Lawrence, the Met was still institutionally racist.
One black officer told the Casey review: “We’ve had so many watershed moments we should be swimming.”
But Sir Mark Rowley, the Met Commissioner, said he would not use the term institutionally racist to describe the Met.
He said: “I have to use language that’s unambiguous and is apolitical, and that term means lots of different things to different people and has become politicised in recent debate over the last decade or so.”