The UK’s most senior black policeman has told the BBC’s Panorama programme that racism is widespread across the police force.
Kent chief constable Mike Fuller told the prime time documentary, in a programme to be broadcast tonight, that black and ethnic minority officers (BME) “have to work twice as hard to compete”.
Fuller added that it is hard for black and ethnic minority officers to break in to specialist teams.
“BME officers find it difficult to get put forward for selection, and I think some of the specialisms you’ll find will be quite ‘clubby’. If you’re not a member of the club or you don’t know how to get into the club, then you can find yourself excluded,” he said.
Fuller is England’s first black chief constable, but claims he has had to prove himself more than usual.
“I certainly do feel I’ve had to work harder than most. I’ve certainly had to ensure I’m qualified both in terms of academic qualifications but also in terms of experience as well,” he told Panorama.
Fuller’s comments will further inflame the high-profile race rows at the Metropolitan Police Force.
London mayor Boris Johnson is expected to launch an inquiry into persistent claims of racism at the Met.
Panorama: The Secret Policeman Returns will be on BBC One at 8:30pm tonight.