No charges for 'racist' policemen exposed on TV

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The Independent Online

The nine police officers forced to resign after being caught making racist comments on a BBC documentary will not face prosecution, it was confirmed today.

Criminal investigations were launched after the men from the Greater Manchester, Cheshire and North Wales forces made the comments to an undercover reporter making The Secret Policeman.

The Crown Prosecution Service recommended today that investigators do not proceed with prosecutions, spokesmen for the forces said.

Six officers from the Greater Manchester force, two from Cheshire and one from North Wales were forced to resign.

One officer remains suspended from the North Wales force.

A spokesman for Greater Manchester Police said: "The Crown Prosecution Service have decided there is insufficient evidence for criminal proceedings to be instituted against any of the police officers who featured in the programme.

"None of those officers remain employed in the police service. Greater Manchester Police remains resolute in their determination to ensure there is no racism within the service."

A spokeswoman for North Wales Police confirmed that Pc Keith Cheshire, who has not resigned but is currently suspended, would not face prosecution.

She refused to comment on a second officer, Pc Rob Pulling, who was caught wearing a home–made Ku Klux Klan hood and saying he would like to "bury" an Asian under a train.

The spokeswoman said: "North Wales Police are awaiting written advice from the CPS regarding the question of criminal proceedings concerning The Secret Policeman programme.

"The CPS have advised, however, that Pc Keith Cheshire should not face criminal charges and disciplinary proceedings are now being prepared by the force."

The North Wales Daily Post said today that a police source confirmed Pc Pulling would not face charges.

The undercover reporter Mark Daly spent seven months with rookie police officers, training alongside them at the Bruche police academy in Cheshire.

He was eventually exposed and arrested but not before compiling a dossier of evidence using hidden cameras.

After the documentary was shown on the BBC in October, deputy chief constable of North Wales Police Clive Wolfendale said he felt "physically sick" watching the programme.

Pc Pulling, who was based in Rhyl, north Wales, was caught on film saying Hitler had the "right idea".

Murdered black teenager Stephen Lawrence had "deserved it" and his parents were "a f****** pair of spongers", he added.

Mr Wolfendale said: "It is frankly hard to imagine more despicable words."

He added that it was "scant comfort" that "raw recruit" Pc Pulling had never walked the streets of north Wales unsupervised.

At the time, deputy chief constable of Greater Manchester Police Alan Green said: "It has made me ashamed to be part of the British police service and it has saddened me greatly."

Home Secretary David Blunkett described the racism footage as "horrendous", and since the documentary has appointed Sir David Calvert–Smith QC to investigate racism in the police service.

Sir David, the former Director of Public Prosecutions, is leading an independent nationwide investigation announced by the Commission for Racial Equality.

Announcing the inquiry, Sir David said the police had "fallen short" on race.

He said his investigation would cover issues including recruitment and training, monitoring of officers' conduct and the management of officers' behaviour.