Warnings of racism at Scotland Yard have fallen on “deaf ears” for more than a decade, a top policeman said as eight officers were suspended from the force.
Superintendent Leroy Logan, of the Black Police Association, said he was “disappointed” by the Met’s apparent failure to take effective action following years of feedback from black communities.
He spoke after 10 complaints – relating to 20 officers and one member of police staff – were referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).
The referrals came just days after Scotland Yard vowed to get to the bottom of “very damaging” footage of one officer apparently racially abusing a man and another allegedly assaulting a teenage boy last summer.
Supt Logan, a founder member and former chairman of both the London and National Black Police Association (NBPA), said while race relations had improved since a 1999 report accused the force of institutional racism, there had been a recent deterioration in attitudes.
Citing a need to “root out the bad boy cops,” he said race relations had dropped down the agenda.
But he said the issue had been raised yearly by youths on the NBPA’s community engagement programme.
“Every year since 2001, the young people have been saying how they believe they are being dealt with disrespectfully, not shown enough dignity, casual racist comments were being used,” he said.
“We were telling the Met Police, some two or three commissioners back, this is what is coming up.
“But like so many things, it lands on deaf ears until such a time as a free press – the media – get hold of it and forces people into action.”
Met Deputy Commissioner Craig Mackey has warned there could be further referrals to the IPCC.