Race complaints against Met up 90% in two years

·2-min read
<p>Police tape</p> (PA Archive)

Police tape

(PA Archive)

The number of Met police officers accused of racism has risen by more than 90 per cent in the last two years.

Last year the force saw 1,046 officers accused — a 35 per cent rise from 2019, when there were 773 officers who faced allegations, and a 92 per cent increase from 2018, when there were 542.

Data obtained by the Standard using freedom of information requests showed that 7,300 officers were accused of racial discrimination from January 2011 to December 2020 by staff and members of the public.

These figures also include cases when the officer was not identified after an allegation was recorded.

Campaigner Ola Aweo ,who actively speaks on the issues affecting the black community, said: “The Black Lives Matter protests and the murder of George Floyd has given people the confidence to speak up and report allegations because it was all an awakening that racism in 2020 has not been eradicated but it has in fact evolved.”

Of the 7,300 officers accused over the nine-year period, a total of 218 had some kind of action taken against them. This includes 22 who either retired or resigned, 148 who received formal action, 37 who were given management action and six who were referred to proceedings.

Of those who received formal action, 33 were given a final written warning, 20 were given management advice, and 26 were dismissed without notice.

Frank Matthews, a former Met detective, who campaigns for police reform through the Law Enforcement Action Partnership, raised concerns over the low number of allegations that had action taken.

There is a culture in the Met, one that needs to be rooted out, that doesn’t allow abuse to be taken seriously.

Frank Matthews

Mr Matthews also argued that the data did not represent the level of discrimination that is reportedly taking place inside the force, instead he believes victims are afraid to speak out and file complaints to avoid being side lined.

Incidents include an officer receiving a final warning in 2016 after allegedly using a racist term about a victim.

The Met said: “The rise across all categories of complaints is largely due to the introduction of new complaint regulations which were introduced in February 2020. Under the new regulations the definition of a complaint was broadened. This has resulted in a higher number being recorded.

“Complaints of a racial nature continue to account for three to four per cent of the total complaints, and the proportion of complaints relating to race remains the same, at three to four per cent of the overall amount.”

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