Police complaints commission to act against racist officers

Twelve police officers who were at the centre of allegations of racism arising from a BBC documentary at a police training college in Cheshire are to face disciplinary procedures.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) has decided that the police officers should be disciplined as a result of the investigation arising from the Secret Policeman television programme.

Four trainers, including three who served at Bruche Training Centre, will receive written warnings.  An additional seven constables and a sergeant will receive formal advice from a senior police officer.  

The IPCC has agreed that six of the officers must undergo diversity training and three of the trainers be removed from such work.

Ten other officers resigned at the time of the broadcast in 2003.

IPCC commissioner Nicola Williams supervised the inquiry. She said that a very thorough inquiry had been carried out by Greater Manchester Police in which 100 statements were taken and over 1,200 documents and exhibits obtained.

“It is vital that the police service can permanently improve recruit training and ensure that each and every police officer supports the need to treat everybody fairly regardless of their race, religion or colour, she said.”

The IPCC has recommended that:



  • A consultation process between the Home Office and police staff associations should be set up to consider improving the speed of disciplinary procedures in cases of gross misconduct, so that officers can face instant dismissal in cases where there is compelling evidence
  • A similar consultation process should be undertaken for trainee police officers, with a view to developing national regulations for trainees similar to those in place in Northern Ireland, where officers only hold the office of constable after a prescribed period of training
  • A national review be undertaken of the recruitment process to develop methods of identifying personality traits that are unacceptable in police officers. The feasibility of having an independent person on every recruiting panel for trainers must be considered
  • Centrex, the Central Police Training and Development Authority, should undertake a national review of the delivery of race and diversity training and develop a method of evaluating the effectiveness of such training once it has been delivered.

A Commission for Racial Equality (CRE) investigation into the recruitment, training and monitoring of police officers’ conduct and the management of their behaviour set up after the broadcast is due to be published next week.

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