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'DEAF EARS' CLAIM OVER COP RACISM.

Byline: Katie Hodge ; Tom Morgan

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 ten complaints - relating to 20 officers and one member of police staff - were referred to the police watchdog.

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.

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, attitudes had deteriorated more recently.

Citing a need to "root out the bad boy cops", he said race relations had dropped down the agenda, despite the fact the issue had been raised 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 and casual racist comments were being used," he said.

"We were telling the Met Police, some two or three commissioners back. But like so many things, it lands on deaf ears until such a time as a free press gets hold of it and forces people into action."

The officer, who has more than 30 years of practical policing experience, added: "Race needs to be back on the agenda. The issues haven't been reviewed effectively by external agencies - that's why we are getting these incidents."

Eight officers and one staff member have been suspended.

Pc Alex MacFarlane has been temporarily stripped of his duties after a recording was made of a suspect being called a "n*****".

The man, Mauro Demetrio, 21, from east London, was arrested on suspicion of drug driving but no action was later taken.

He recorded the abuse on his mobile phone.

It emerged that another officer, reportedly with Pc MacFarlane when Mr Demetrio was abused, was also placed on restricted duties after allegedly being seen kicking a 15-year-old black boy to the ground.

Part of the incident was apparently recorded on CCTV. The Met is now working with the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) to investigate the allegations.
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Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Apr 7, 2012
Words:414
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