Police racism: four quit after TV probe

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The Independent Online

Four suspended police officers resigned today after a television documentary exposed racism in the ranks.

Pc Rob Pulling, one of eight officers featured in BBC1's The Secret Policeman, resigned from North Wales Police as a top officer in his force admitted having felt "physically sick" watching the programme.

This afternoon, another three officers resigned from Greater Manchester Police.

All had been suspended over allegations of racist behaviour made in the hour-long documentary screened last night.

Another four officers remained suspended tonight while criminal and disciplinary investigations continued into the content of the programme.

The BBC had been criticised in recent days by Home Secretary David Blunkett and Greater Manchester Police for not handing over evidence of racism before the programme was broadcast.

But today, Mr Blunkett added his voice to the many senior police officers expressing their horror at the extreme racist behaviour of young recruits exposed in the programme.

One top officer said he had felt "physically sick" at racist comments captured on film by undercover reporter Mark Daly.

Another said he felt "ashamed to be a member of the British police service" while Mr Blunkett said the extent of the racist behaviour revealed in the film, broadcast last night, was "horrendous".

The Secret Policeman revealed racism among a number of trainee officers - from forces in North Wales, Cheshire and Greater Manchester - after Mr Daly, aged 28, posed as a recruit armed with an array of hidden cameras.

The Glaswegian journalist spent seven months with Greater Manchester Police (GMP) compiling a dossier of evidence against seven recruits and one serving officer before being exposed and arrested.

Among them were Pcs Pulling and Keith Cheshire, of North Wales Police, Pcs Andy Hall, Carl Jones, Tony Lewin and Adrian Harrison, of GMP, and Pc Steve Salkeld of the Cheshire force.

Pc Andy Turley, an officer at GMP for two and a half years, was also identified.

Pc Pulling, who was based in Rhyl, north Wales, was seen wearing a home-made Ku Klux Klan-style hood, saying he would bury an Asian under a train track and that Hitler had the "right idea".

Murdered black teenager Stephen Lawrence had "deserved it" and those who killed him should be given "diplomatic immunity", he added.

He labelled Mr Lawrence's parents "a fucking pair of spongers".

He was suspended before the programme was broadcast but resigned from the force today.

Three further officers believed to be Pcs Jones, Lewin and Harrison also resigned this afternoon.

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