Don’t write to the Met Commissioner – His "bag carriers" are good at protecting their boss but useless at dealing with the truth

October 18, 2006
We are reminded again of the race riots of the 1980’s, and ever since, year in, year out, the police service as a whole has said it is doing all it can in order to deal with “race”. This is perhaps a half truth. The hierarchy of the police service is mainly white and the majority at the top simply do what they can according to their own understanding. The senior-middle level is promoted by those at the top, and are also mostly white, and merely mimick what those at the top wish to hear. No one at the top wants to understand the difficult reality of dealing with poor “race” relations. This unfortunately is the reality of the police. But this is not the whole picture. Most of those that are black and have got to the top have not themselves challenged racism vociferously. Those that do genuinely challenge racism are left on the periphary and this leaves those black officers that are deemed trustworthy to consult with chief officers, but these people simply do not wish to prejudice their careers. Challenging “race” in the police service is a career decision; ask any officer that has challenged. And if you ask these officers what learning has come out of the incidents then the answer will probably be, none. The current systems that exist in the police service do not inspire openness and transparency from our leaders. I wrote to the Met Commissioner about the Jean Charles de Menezes incident; and this was before the IPCC had reported. I raised my genuine concerns that Mr de Menezes may have been racially stereotyped. I received no response to my e-mail. I e-mailed again and received a patronising response form the “guard” or Staff officer. In my frustration at the lack of foresight of the Met to acknowledge the existence of racial stereotypes in this incident, I wrote again. I was advised that my emails would be sent to my Chief Constable. I then met with my Deputy Chief Constable and was advised that although my intentions were pure I had offended the Metropolitan police and that I should back off because they had advisors. Banging one’s head against this brick wall is a continuing challenge for some of us because they had missed the point; Jean Charles de Menezes was the subject of racial profiling and if the advisors had any integrity or passion for “race” the Met would have admitted this. I also advised that each of the 7/7 killings should be recorded as a religiously aggravated murder. I got no thanks or acknowledgment for my foresight or understanding here. If the way police services promote is changed then instantly we will have an impact on “race.” Also if we sack those that practice malicious racism, particularly those at the top that condone it; then I am certain we will see change overnight.

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