Police race claims report to be published

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The Independent Online

An independent report into claims of lingering racism at Britain's largest police force will be published today.

The long-overdue review will urge Scotland Yard bosses to identify a new vision for tackling prejudice and discrimination.

It will tell officers to make a fresh start more than 10 years after the publication of a report into the murder of Stephen Lawrence.

And it will highlight how labelling police "institutionally racist" is not helpful in resolving inequalities.

The review was ordered by London Mayor Boris Johnson as he seized control of the Metropolitan Police Authority (MPA) in October 2008.

It came after the Met had been rocked by a furious race row among senior officers and amid mounting criticism of then Commissioner Sir Ian Blair.

The £100,000 inquiry held a series of public meetings where senior officers, experts and advisers were quizzed on cultural change, promotion and training.

But it fell heavily behind schedule amid consistent rumours of backstage wrangling between the panel and senior City Hall figures.

And it faced criticism before it even began with claims it would be expensive, unnecessary and vulnerable to allegations of bias.

Bob Purkiss, one of the four panellists charged with compiling the work, stood down in protest at a decision to bring in MPA officials to write the final draft.

He said the move threatened the ability of the report to be "self-critical" as the MPA was also under scrutiny.

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