Force probed over handling of race complaints

WEST Yorkshire Police is to face an investigation into how it handles complaints about racism and discrimination.

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Investigators at the Independent Police Complaints Commission will carry out the review following a similar process for the Metropolitan Police last year.

Its review of the London force found “an unwillingness or inability to deal with (race) complaints robustly and effectively” after a number of high profile race scandals including its handling of the murder of black teenager Stephen Lawrence.

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Cindy Butts, the IPCC’s commissioner for Yorkshire and the North East, said: “If that is happening in the Met I wondered if this is happening anywhere else. I persuaded them to do a piece of work outside London.”

The report will be published later this month and Ms Butts said it would have some “incredibly interesting results” and highlighted areas that were “ripe for improvement”. She declined to reveal whether the report contained criticism of the three forces.

She also revealed that a decision on whether to launch a full investigation into the 1984 Battle of Orgreave should hopefully be made “fairly shortly”.

The case was referred to the IPCC by South Yorkshire Police in November 2012 and since then officials have been looking through thousands of documents relating to clashes between police and miners during the 1984-5 strike.

Television footage showed miners being beaten with truncheons by police, and a year later 95 miners who had been prosecuted for alleged rioting and unlawful assembly were all acquitted.

Full story: Page 8.