Met Police racism ‘worse now’ than after Macpherson Inquiry, says ex Chief Superintendent

·2-min read
<p>Parm Sandhu, one the UK's most senior female Asian police officers who has accused the Met Police of discrimination</p> (PA)

Parm Sandhu, one the UK's most senior female Asian police officers who has accused the Met Police of discrimination


One of the UK's most senior female Asian police officers has claimed that institutional racism in the Met is “worse now” than what it was 20 years ago.

Former Chief Superintendent Parm Sandhu, who retired from the force in 2019, also alleged that the force had “gone backwards” under Dame Cressida Dick’s management because she was “far removed from reality.”

Speaking ahead of the release of her memoirs next week, Ms Sandhu, 55, spoke to Channel 4 news on her 30 year career and how it was marred by alleged repeated sexism and racism.

On the programme she claimed to have told the Commissioner several years ago that the Met was “not a safe environment for black and Asian officers.”

But Ms Sandhu, who headed the Met’s anti-corruption team in the wake of the Stephen Lawrence murder, said the leader “turned her back” on her - instead of acknowledging the alleged faults within the system.

She also claimed Dame Cressida was “so far removed from real operational policing, she doesn’t know anymore. She either doesn’t know, or she chooses to ignore it.

“Institutional racism exists in the Metropolitan Police and it’s alive and kicking and is worse now than straight after the MacPherson Inquiry,” she told the programme.

Ms Sandhu also spoke about her recent employment tribunal case. She was one of Britain’s most senior female Asian officers when she lodged the case, claiming she was denied promotion and work opportunities due to her race and gender.

The 55-year-old also claimed that her vetting interview when applying for promotion to become a chief superintendent in 2018 included a line of questioning where she was asked to “discuss your Indian heritage”.

Ms Sandhu’s comments on race and the need for progression in the Met come after she agreed a confidential settlement after she left the force having been cleared of gross misconduct.

She had been accused of encouraging colleagues to support her nomination for a Queen’s Police Medal. National Police Chiefs' Council guidelines state "any person can nominate any other person for an honour" but people are not supposed to nominate themselves.

The Black Police Association had branded the allegation “ridiculous” at the time.

A spokesman for the Met police told PA news agency: “The Met employs more than 5,000 black and minority ethnic officers, around half of all of those employed across England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

“The commissioner’s record on issues of race and discrimination speaks for itself and she is deeply committed to continuing to build a service that reflects those it serves.”

The spokesman, who said the legal matters between the force and Ms Sandhu are private, added: “The Met has made no admissions of liability in respect of claims of discrimination against Ms Sandhu.”

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