More than 3,000 police officers are being investigated for alleged brutality – and most are still on the beat

  • Over half of those officers from Metropolitan Police and West Midlands Police

  • Two per cent of officers under investigation across UK have been suspended

  • People from ethnic minorities more likely to complain, FOI request revealed

  • Campaigners believe the figures expose a culture of 'brutality and racism'

2 MAY 2015 | UPDATED: 2 MAY 2015 | BY Jay Akbar FOR MAILONLINE


PCs Christopher Thomas and Christopher Pitts

Suspended: PCs Christopher Thomas (left) and Christopher Pitts (right) have been suspended on full pay since March last year over their detention of Faruk Ali even though they were cleared of criminal charges.

Campaigners said the figures exposed a culture of brutality and racism in the way some officers deal with ethnic minorities.

The Metropolitan Police and West Midlands Police – who cover the most ethnically diverse regions of the country – account for nearly half of 3,082 officers under investigation, according to figures obtained by the Independent.

Around 55 per cent of people who have complained about being the victims of police brutality in London are from ethnic minorities, despite making up just one in three of the capital’s population.

And in the West Midlands, nearly half of all assault allegations come from black or Asian people even though they comprise 14 per cent of the population.

Founder of the Birmingham Empowerment Forum told the Independent that the relationship between police and the black community was one of ‘oppressor and oppressed’.

Desmond Jaddoo said: ‘Trust and confidence in the police is still at its lowest. I’m not anti-police. The problem is some officers are abusing their power.’

Of the 146 ongoing assault investigations in the West Midlands where ethnicity of the alleged victim is known, 71 complainants were white (49 per cent) and 69 were black or Asian (47.5 per cent).

450 West Midlands Police officers are currently being investigated , but only five have been suspended.

Tippa Naphtali, a community activist in Birmingham, told the Independent: ‘Some officers have it in their heads that any black person, regardless of size, is going to be violent and their response coincides with that in terms of levels of brutality or restraint they use.’

1,185 Met Police officers are on full duty despite being under investigation for a total of 714 alleged assault cases.

In the 443 cases where the ethnicity of the complainant is known, 191 (43 per cent) were white and 243 (55 per cent) were black or Asian.

Ethnicity of the complainant has been recorded in 443 cases. Of these 191 (43 per cent) alleged victims are white and 243 (55 per cent) black or Asian.

The Met was branded ‘institutionally racist’ by Sir William Macpherson in 1999 following his report on the failings that allowed those who murdered black teenager Stephen Lawrence to escape justice.

The force – which has over 30,000 officers – has been dogged by the same claims ever since with the most notable case in recent times being that of former firearms officer Carol Howard.

Howard was awarded £37,000 at an employment tribunal last year after she was targeted in a ‘malicious’ and ‘vindictive’ campaign of race and sex discrimination.

The glamorous black officer who received substantial compensation over racist discrimination was arrested for alleged assault in July 2014.

Carol Howard (pictured) was awarded £37,000 at an employment tribunal last year after she was targeted in a ‘malicious’ and ‘vindictive’ campaign of race and sex discrimination

The elite policewoman – who was Scotland Yard’s Olympic Games security poster girl – was arrested three times, including twice for allegedly assaulting a man.

A spokeswoman for the Met said the ‘vast majority’ of its officers carry out their duties ‘with professionalism and courtesy’.

She told the Independent: ‘The MPS treats each occasion when an allegation is made about a member of its staff extremely seriously and will fully investigate each incident.

‘Where the conduct of staff is proven to have fallen below the standards of behaviour expected, the MPS will take robust action to ensure that its staff are appropriately disciplined and that lessons are learnt.’

But she added: ‘The Commissioner has recognised that there remains a risk that the MPS is still institutionally racist in some of what it does because there remain elements of disproportionality, despite significant progress over many years.’

In Bedford, PCs Christopher Pitts and Christopher Thomas have been suspended on full pay since March last year over their detention of Faruk Ali, a 33-year-old man with learning difficulties.

The pair were cleared of criminal charges but remain subject to an Independent Police Complaints Commission investigation.

West Midlands Police have reportedly declined to comment.

notice: Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author(s).


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