Met chief warns officers over 'racist abuse'


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The head of Scotland Yard told his force yesterday he would not tolerate racism after damaging allegations a policeman was caught on camera assaulting a black teenager hours after his colleague was recorded racially abusing a man.

Bernard Hogan-Howe warned the alleged incident, in the aftermath of the riots in London, could be very damaging for public confidence and ordered officers to report colleagues involved in wrongdoing.

The move followed revelations a police constable was on restricted duties after he was seen allegedly kicking a 15-year-old black boy to the ground and then kneeing him while in the custody suite of an east London police station.

The officer was present hours earlier when his colleague, PC Alex MacFarlane, was recorded calling another man a "nigger" when he was arrested on suspicion of drug driving. The man, Mauro Demetrio, 21, recorded the abuse on his mobile telephone. Mr Demetrio, from east London, said he was subjected to a tirade of abuse at the hands of the officer before he was taken to an east London police station. There, he reportedly saw the alleged assault on the 15-year-old which was captured by CCTV footage on the same night, August 11, last year.

The case was referred to The Independent Police Complaints Commission, which investigated the case and handed over its report to the police this week for possible disciplinary action against the officer. The watchdog had sought advice from prosecutors to see if any criminal offence was committed.

IPCC Commissioner Mike Franklin: "The Crown Prosecution Service advised there was not a realistic prospect of a conviction in relation to the criminal offence of common assault." Criticism of the decision by the CPS not to charge the officers has led to an urgent review.

Mr Hogan-Howe said: "I know the Met has changed greatly over the years. Unfortunately, just one alleged incident like this can be very damaging to public confidence. Without pre-judging this case, in any instance of wrong-doing it is a small few who tarnish the vast majority. We have a duty to challenge or report any behaviour by colleagues which is less than the high standard demanded by the service and Londoners. I'll not stand for any racism or racists in the Met."