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Exclusive: Newham police sacked three officers for racism last year

07:00 04 June 2014

Institutional racism is a “continuing problem” within the Newham police force, according to the director of an anti-racist organisation.

Estelle du Boulay’s claim comes as the Recorder can exclusively reveal that three Newham police officers were dismissed for racism last year.

Data obtained through a Freedom of Information request shows that the dismissals, which occured on separate occasions, included an officer who was reported by colleagues for making racist comments while on patrol in a marked police vehicle, and another who called a member of the public a racist name.

The third officer was reported by colleagues for referring to a group of Asian men by a racist term while off-duty.

Estelle, from Newham Monitoring Project, said: “So many instances of racist conduct towards the public and amongst officers points to a continuing problem of institutional racism within the police in Newham.

“Whilst we welcome the decision to sack these officers, a number were only properly investigated following pressure by our organisation. We are doubtful that the same action would have occurred without this kind of public scrutiny. Our casework continues to demonstrate that, all too often, members of the public who complain about police racism receive an inadequate or substandard response.

“To demonstrate genuine accountability to the public, senior officers must significantly improve the investigation of what are abuses of police power.”

The Recorder’s FOI request showed that the three officers dismissed for racism were among seven to be sacked from Newham Police in 2013.

Two detective constables were dismissed for misconduct, one for trying to force entry to an address while drunk and the other for being convicted of theft while on duty.

A police officer was dismissed following irregularities with staff records and taking of leave and a police sargeant was dismissed following an investigation into inappropriate online behaviour.

Superintendent Ian Larnder, from Newham Police, said the force would “continue to be robust” in addressing any failings of officers.

We are committed to providing the very best policing to all the people of Newham and we shall do that by absolute professionalism in our work and in our support of those that need our help,” he said. “We will continue to hold to account any officers and staff that have let the public down by acting in an inappropriate or unlawful manner.

Supt Larnder said the borough’s approach and training and development has lead to a 20 per cent reduction in public complaints over the last 12 months.

“We expect the highest levels of courtesy, diligence and professionalism from all our officers and staff,” he continued.

“If they fall short in that, we will address it. All complaints are examined and I would invite any one that feels that they have had less than professional treatment from our officers to report it to us.”

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