Turban

Mel Gibson, The Met Police And Sikhs

Racism is a common theme in many Western societies.

Nowadays it is less conspicuous than it was, but its still around.

Many had thought that the Metropolitan Police had been cured of overt racism, or at least, banished it to the deepest reaches.

Stephen Lawrence’s murder and the subsequent bungling produced many changes in British policing, but there are still problems as Channel 4 reported:

“Exclusive: As a senior Met Police officer says warnings of racism have fallen on “deaf ears”, Channel 4 News reveals 120 race-related cases over the past decade – and only one officer dismissed.

The figures, which were obtained under the Freedom of Information act, come as the Metropolitan Police reveal that nine staff, including one civilian, have been suspended amid allegations of racism.

Ten cases have been referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) and they include allegations of racist assaults in broad daylight as well as the racist abuse of prisoners behind closed doors.

The statistics come 13 years after the Macpherson Report , launched after the murder of black teenager Stephen Lawrence, branded the force “institutionally racist”.

Channel 4 News can reveal that between 1999 and 2011:

• 120 police officers at the Metropolitan Police were found guilty of racist behaviour
• Of these, 21 received some kind of sanction, most commonly a fine
• Six were forced to resign
• Just one police officer of the 120 was dismissed “

Doreen Lawrence argues the Met hasn’t changed, and the case of Kester David suggests as much.

The antisemite, Mel Gibson, is in the news again.

BBC One had a rather good programme, The Story of the Turban.

It deals with the Sikh faith and the importance of the Turban, but in passing it shines a light on racism in Britain from the 1970s to the Nineties, which is still very relevant today.