Met police accused of ‘apartheid’

By politics.co.uk staff

The Metropolitan police have been accused of having an “apartheid” culture involving police community support officers (PCSOs).

The Evening Standard reports that the sensational charges are due before an employment tribunal this week and include the accusation that police ran one van for white PCSOs and another for black PCSOs.

The allegations have emerged on the 10th anniversary of the publication of the Macpherson report into the handling of the investigation into the murder of black teenager Stephen Lawrence.

Despite government claims that there is no longer a problem, evidence of the lack of advancement for black officers coupled with a raft of discrimination accusations paint a picture of a force still struggling with racist issues. Jack Straw, the justice secretary also admitted today at a conference marking the 10th anniversary of the Macpherson report, that racism may exist in his own government department. At the same conference Stephen Lawrence’s mother Doreen, also said racism was still something that existed in British society.

The allegations have been made by PCSO Asad Saeed and centre around two white PCSOs at Belgravia police station who have since left the force.

Mr Saeed claims a culture of violence existed at the station where PCSOs were subject to “apartheid”, citing an incident where a black PCSO was ejected from a van and told to get into “the black van”.

He has accused the force failing to investigate claims of racism, despite a senior officer finding evidence of racist behaviour by one of the white PCSOs.

Racist concerns were not reported because it was not thought they would be investigated, an investigation found and added that the “lessons of Lawrence appear to need re-learning”.

Mr Saeed was sacked by the force in 2007 after allegedly beating up a vagrant. He was reinstated following an appeal last year but that decision has been overturned.

He is claiming a clique of racist PCSOs and officers conspired for his removal and CCTV footage of the incident shows his behaviour was correct.

The allegations come at a difficult time for Met commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson.

He has been defending the force against allegations that 10 years after the Macpherson report accused it of being institutionally racist it remains just as discriminatory.