A shocking Mirror investigation has revealed not a single officer proven to be a bigot has been fired they promised to weed out prejudiced officers in the wake of the damning report into Stephen Lawrence’s death that branded the Metropolitan Police “institutionally racist”.
But despite a shameful 2,720 racism complaints in the past five years, bosses have axed just two cops – and they were “required to resign” rather than be sacked, meaning their pensions were safeguarded.
A shocking Mirror investigation has revealed not a single officer proven to be a bigot has been fired.
Many escaped with written warnings or merely a word in their ear.
But we found the problem goes much further than just the Met. Scores of racist officers and staff across the country have escaped with just a slap on the wrist.
The National Black Police Association said our investigation shows the police chiefs are drifting away from the recommendations made in the Macpherson report into the Met’s handling of 18-year-old Stephen’s 1993 racist murder in South East London.
President Charles Crichlow added: “It’s a scandal. One of those recommendations said specifically there should be a presumption of dismissal where an officer or member of staff has been found to have been racist.
“These figures show the scandal that has gone on and how far we have moved away from those recommendations.”
Mr Crichlow blamed the disgraceful situation on a lack of political leadership from the Tory-led Government and police chiefs.
He said Home Secretary Theresa May and the Association of Chief Police Officers have both failed to deal with the issue.
Mr Crichlow added: “It’s a complete failure of their leadership. They have set the mood music within the police that officers and staff dance to. The message they are sending is race is off the agenda, they aren’t interested and that has filtered all the way down.”
The Mirror discovered bigoted cops were getting away with just a ticking off during an investigation launched under the Freedom of Information Act.
Apart from the two Met officers ordered to quit, three more found guilty of racism were not even punished, seven got written warnings, five “words of advice” and another five were allowed to retire or resign. Two officers were given simply “advice” and another had a “discussion” with a boss.
It comes as the Met, now under the command of commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe, faces its worst racism crisis since Stephen’s murder, with 20 officers and one staff member now under investigation for alleged racist incidents.
The Independent Police Complaints Commission is probing the claims, which include bullying, abuse and assault.
Of 2,720 complaints of racism made between 2005 and mid-2011 by staff and the public against the force only 42 were “substantiated” and 816 “unsubstantiated”.
However, 572 were “locally resolved” – described as “a way of dealing with a complaint by solving, explaining, clearing up or settling the matter with the complainant”.
Outside the capital, other racist officers have been escaping the axe over the past five years.
- A Staffordshire PC was fined in 2007 after he admitted calling a black colleague a “jungle bunny”.
- A Nottinghamshire police civilian worker received a written warning in 2009 despite being found in possession of “racist propaganda”.
- All of five officers and four civilians in the county found to have been racist in the last five years kept their jobs.
- In Avon and Somerset a PC was “spoken to” by a senior officer after making a racist comment while searching the home of a black person.
- A DCI and PC in Surrey were given the same penalty for making racist comments.
- Five Cambridge cops faced racism misconduct hearings with two sacked, the others warned.
- In Kent, the grievances include racist jokes and an officer mimicking a complainant’s accent.
- Five allegations resulted in misconduct hearings, with one officer resigning over “discriminatory comments”.
- A written warning was given to a member of police staff in Wiltshire for racist comments on Facebook.
- An officer from the force was allowed to retire with full pension after being accused of racially abusing a colleague.
- A sergeant at West Mercia found guilty of racism was allowed to resign .
- Four Ulster officers have been suspended after the discovery of racist and sectarian text messages.
The Met was hit with 43 internal complaints of racism last year, the highest number in the last decade.
Racist allegations have risen from 370 in 2007, to 454 in 2008, 500 in 2009 and 464 in 2010.
Mr Crichlow praised Mr Hogan-Howe for finally taking a stand on race by referring cases to the IPCC and urging officers to report colleagues. The force says racism is not tolerated.
But former officer David Michael said it had to show its commitment to tackling the issue.
A spokesman said the Mirror figures did not include cases brought by officers which are “more likely” to result in a dismissal.
The Met were forced to reveal the scandal following a public outcry over the treatment of a black man in a police van.
Mauro Demetrio, 21, recorded PC Alex MacFarlane, 52, telling him: “You will always be a n*****.”
The Association of Chief Police Officers insists things have improved since the shocking Macpherson report in 1999.
Its diversity head Chief Constable Alf Hitchcock said: “The satisfaction with police among black and ethnic communities, and their willingness to come forward and complain when things go wrong has risen.
“Much has changed and while there is still some way to go, the service has shown it is willing to listen and learn from past events.”