Met Police racism scandal spreads with seven officers facing charges


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The Independent Online

Six Metropolitan Police officers and one special constable will face charges of gross professional misconduct for alleged racism, Scotland Yard has said.

The officers from Westminster, Islington and Wandsworth risk losing their jobs if found guilty by the Yard’s Directorate of Professional Standards. Another MPS officer, convicted of racially-aggravated public order offences at court following an investigation by British Transport Police, is also the subject of a gross misconduct hearing.

They are among 11 cases of alleged racism by Met officers referred to the IPCC which came to light last month after a mobile phone recording of a prisoner being racially abused by Newham Police Constable Alex MacFarlane in the back of a police van was passed to the media. 

PC Joseph MacFarlane will appear at Westminster Magistrates Court on 22 May 2012 for a racially aggravated public order offence.

Two officers alleged to have assaulted the same prisoner at Forest Gate police station in August 2011 are still being investigated by the IPCC.

PC Joseph Harrington has been charged for assault occasioning actual bodily harm against another prisoner, a 15-year-old boy, in Newham on the same day. The final misconduct report about Harrington from the IPCC has been received and the Met is considering their findings.

Another Met Police officer facing misconduct charges was convicted of racially aggravated public order offences in March following an investigation by British Transport Police.

The public crackdown on racism within the Met comes weeks after the new commissioner, Bernard Hogan-Howe, pledged to drive out racism from the country’s largest force, which continues to be plagued by damaging allegations.

Three IPCC investigations involving at least five other Met officers are ongoing.

Yesterday’s announcement came the day after a Met police sergeant was suspended for allegedly making a racist comment in the company of other officers. One of his colleagues subsequently complained to a supervisor leading to the sergeant’s suspension. The IPCC is also investigating a complaint involving West Yorkshire police last month.

Last night Deputy Commissioner Craig Mackey said: “The MPS is committed to demonstrating that we will take action when cases of alleged racism are brought to our attention.

“All misconduct procedures are carried out in accordance with police regulations under the Police Act, but where possible we will proceed quickly, whilst ensuring a thorough and diligent investigation.”

The case against five officers from the Territorial Support Group who were accused of a racist assault against several juveniles in Hyde Park in 2011 was not been upheld.

In another case relating to a mishandled call, no racism has been found but the DPS investigation is ongoing, said the Met.