Met told to change culture after race bias is revealed

The Commission for Racial Equality has urged the Metropolitan Police Force
to change its culture and systems after it was found to have discriminated
against an Asian officer.

The call comes after a Metropolitan Police Authority inquiry claimed ethnic officers
were discriminated against when involved in complaints procedures, and had
little confidence in the disciplinary process.

The inquiry began 14 months ago to examine the force’s case against Asian
sergeant Gurpal Virdi, who was accused of sending racist hate mail to
colleagues.

Virdi, who was suspended for four years, is preparing to return to work
after winning an employment tribunal and an appeal against a police tribunal.

He was dismissed in March 2000 after a disciplinary tribunal found him guilty,
but was reinstated after a ruling found he had been discriminated against.

The inquiry made a range of recommendations to the Met and the Home Office,
including a review of grievance procedures and an action plan to comply with
the Race Relations (Amendment) Act.

"We want to see the some of the recommendations acted upon with
accountability and urgency so that what has happened to Gurpal Virdi never
happens again," a CRE spokesperson said.

Inquiry chairman David Muir admitted the force still had to develop positive
changes following the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry.

"The authority views the inquiry as an opportunity for the Met to
establish the same principles for managing its staff as it is seeking to apply
in its dealings with the general public," he said.

www.mpa.gov.uk

By Ross Wigham

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