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London police chief triggers racism debate

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Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe with London Mayor Boris Johnson

Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, the chief of Metropolitan Police Force, said the judiciary, medical profession, media and government are all dominated by the white middle classes…reports Asian Lite News

Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe with London Mayor Boris Johnson
Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe with London Mayor Boris Johnson

Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, Britain’s top police officer, controversially branded all sections of British society ‘institutionally racist’, the Daily Mail reported.

Sir Bernard said it is not only police forces which fail to represent the varied communities they serve, the Daily Mail reported. The judiciary, medical profession, media and government are all dominated by the white middle classes, he suggested.

The Scotland Yard boss also admitted that there is ‘some justification’ for people to think of his London force as a racist organisation.

Sir Bernard made the sweeping remark in a BBC documentary which examines the aftermath of the death of Mark Duggan which later triggered 2011 summer riots in London. Tense footage shows senior officers preparing for fresh violence as an inquest finds the gangster was lawfully killed by police marksmen.

The 2011 Tottenham shooting sparked five days of bloody rioting that tore across the country and caused hundreds of millions pounds in damage.

Speaking in an onscreen interview, Sir Bernard said black men are more likely to be stopped and searched by his officers and he can’t ‘fully explain’ why.

Asked about the inflammatory label, first applied to the Met after the death of black teenager Stephen Lawrence, he replied: ‘I think society is institutionally racist.

‘You see lack of representation in many fields of which the police are one, from judges, to doctors, to journalists, to editors, to governments.’

Documentary makers from the BBC were given unprecedented access to the Met for 12 months until September last year.

They filmed anxious meetings as the inquest into Duggan’s death takes place and angry scenes at a town hall meeting where police are accused of ‘apartheid policing’.

 

In an interview after a screening of the documentary, Sir Bernard said the force simply has to take longstanding accusations of racism ‘on the chin’.

Photo: Arun Jacob Thomas
Photo: Arun Jacob Thomas