'Problem is not isolated'

Black Police Association: Met chief says Lawrence case 'shamed' force into planning tough anti-racist programme
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The Independent Online
THE THIRD highest ranking officer in the Metropolitan Police has acknowledged that there is institutional racism within the force, contradicting the views of his Commissioner, Sir Paul Condon.

Denis O'Connor, the assistant commissioner in charge of community relations, made his stance clear during a debate on racism chaired by Joan Bakewell on the BBC1 programme Heart of the Matter on Sunday.

In response to a question about the culture of the service, Mr O'Connor said: "I don't think it's a question of one or two bad apples." Ms Bakewell replied: "That means you accept that it is some sort of institutional racism." Mr O'Connor did not demur.

Sir Paul refused to accept that there was institutional racism in the Met when he gave evidence to the Stephen Lawrence inquiry this month. David Wilmot, the Chief Constable of Greater Manchester, has said there is institutional racism in his force, and 12 other chief constables have admitted to racism problems.

Kathy Marks