Letter: Police racism

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Letter: Police racism

Sir: Kathy Marks ("Problem is not isolated", 20 October) suggests that I contradicted the Commissioner in accepting institutional racism within the police whilst he denies it. Not true.

During the making of the programme Heart of the Matter I echoed the Commissioner's concern over the use of the term "institutional racism" as defined by Lord Scarman, "knowingly as a matter of policy", and over the many definitions that are around.

The Commissioner and I have both said that the problem of racism extends beyond bad apples but needs a new agreed definition behind which we can all mobilise.

DENIS O'CONNOR

Assistant Commissioner

South West Area

Metropolitan Police

Kingston-upon-Thames, Surrey

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