Race body to use BBC police exposé

Mark Daly: The Secret Policeman

The Commission for Racial Equality has said it will use the BBC undercover investigation into racism within the Greater Manchester Police force as part of its own probe.

The decision follows the Crown Prosecution Service’s inability to prosecute the policemen shown in the film.

The Secret Policeman documentary, filmed by reporter Mark Daly while posing as an officer last August, was central to a number of suspensions and resignations from the force.

It showed one officer mimicking the Ku Klux Klan using a pillowcase and another saying that the murdered black teenager Stephen Lawrence had “deserved to die”.

However, the CPS said the officer and seven other trainee officers caught on camera had made their remarks in private and there was “insufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction”. All eight, from Greater Manchester or North Wales forces, quit after the documentary, while another officer remains suspended.

Following the announcement, a CRE spokeswoman said the body was undertaking its own investigation into the police services.

“We will be looking at the BBC’s Secret Policemandocumentary and may ask questions about any disciplinary action taken in respect of the in dividuals named. We are also inviting evidence from police officers and policing organisations who may have experienced or witnessed racial discrimination,” she said.

The National Black Police Association said it was “very disappointed” at the CPS’s decision not to prosecute. Ray Powell, the organisation’s president, said the documentary had “underpinned everything” and had been “used as a lever to drive change” within the police force. If the police federation doesn’t take action, then the NBPA will,” he said.

The development came a day before the Metropolitan Police published a draft report on race in the force that recommended all Met recruits be forced to pass anti-racist tests, in a review of procedure.

By Wale Azeez

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