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Senior UK police official calls for govt intervention following Scotland Yard's racism revelations

London, Sun, 08 Apr 2012 ANI

London, Apr 8 (ANI): In the wake of a spate of revelations concerning racism within Britain's Scotland Yard, a senior police official has called for government intervention to restore trust between police and communities.

Bevan Powell, the chairman of the Metropolitan police's Black Police Association said a pan-Whitehall group should reintroduce trust between police and ethnic communities, and stressed that the police should not be trusted to tackle racism on their own.

Powell said the organisation should be modelled on the Stephen Lawrence steering group, which was established in May 1999 after the Macpherson inquiry's first recommendation into the black teenager's murder.

He said that it should be a 'ministerial priority' for police services to build 'confidence in policing amongst minority ethnic communities,' The Guardian reports.

"We need to look at political structures as well, such as the Stephen Lawrence steering group within the Home Office," the paper quoted Powell, as saying.

"This was a group of people who could hold police chiefs to account in ensuring they moved towards an anti-racist organisation, but unfortunately that was done away with," he added.

Powell also said that 'complacency' had been allowed to creep back in following the publication of the Macpherson report in 1999, and also called for an internal Met inquiry to establish the extent of racism within the force.

He said the recent disclosures embroiling Scotland Yard, which include an audio recording of an officer racially abusing a man in east London, underlined the importance of officers being able to report prejudice without fear of persecution by colleagues.

Powell stressed that they 'need a new era of community and police race relations looking at supervision at a local level.' (ANI)


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