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Last Updated: Wednesday, 22 October, 2003, 06:17 GMT 07:17 UK
Anger after police racism film
A still from the footage showing an officer wearing a mock Ku Klux Klan hood
One officer is shown wearing a Ku Klux Klan mask in the programme
Campaigners and police officers have expressed shock after the broadcast of an undercover TV documentary on racism among recruits.

The Secret Policeman, shown on BBC One on Tuesday, featured video of one officer dressing up in an improvised Ku Klux Klan hood, and others using terms such as "nigger" and particularly "Paki" on a regular basis.

Evidence uncovered in the documentary - at a police training centre in Cheshire - has now led to the suspension of seven police officers, from three different forces.

The BBC was criticised for the undercover techniques used in the programme, but producers insisted it was the only way to gather the evidence.

Trevor Phillips, chairman of the Commission for Racial Equality (CRE) described the BBC programme as "truly shocking".

This shows a pattern of behaviour which is widespread, and though officially condemned, is tacitly condoned by [the officers'] peers
Trevor Phillips, CRE
Reporter Mark Daly recorded one officer, Pc Rob Pulling of North Wales police, apparently saying he would kill an Asian person "if I could get away with it" and a string of other racist comments.

Pc Pulling also said Hitler had had the "right idea" but had gone about it in the wrong way.

In the wake of the programme it emerged Greater Manchester Police (GMP) had suspended a further two officers, and Cheshire Police also confirmed they had taken an officer off duty.

Earlier this week GMP suspended three officers, while North Wales Police suspended one, as a result of the allegations to be made in the programme.

John Stalker, a former assistant chief constable with Greater Manchester Police, described Pc Rob Pulling as a "cowardly bigot" whose poisonous views bordered on the criminal.

Officers suspended

"Those were racially-aggravated opinions. He looked at home with a hood on his head.

"What I would like to see is that the police force has actually learnt something from this."

Mr Phillips said: "This is not just a matter of a few recruits who can be trained out of their behaviour.

"This shows a pattern of behaviour which is widespread, and though officially condemned, is tacitly condoned by their peers."

Mr Daly, 28, joined GMP as a trainee officer and secretly filmed recruits at Bruche National Training Centre in Warrington, Cheshire.

Damaging property

Mr Daly, from Glasgow, was arrested in August after the police received an anonymous tip-off alleging an undercover journalist had joined the force.

The reporter was arrested on suspicion of obtaining a pecuniary advantage by deception and damaging police property. He is due to answer bail next month.

Mark Daly, who posed as a police recruit for the programme
Reporter Mark Daly was arrested in August

In a statement ahead of the film, GMP said: "Greater Manchester Police is firmly committed to taking further action against any other officers who are shown on the programme making racist comments.

"We are disappointed that, despite repeated requests, we have not yet received a copy of the programme from the BBC to enable us to take immediate action."

Pc Pulling was also recorded insulting the murdered black teenager Stephen Lawrence, saying he had deserved to die and referring to his parents as "spongers".

Little faith in service

In a statement, Scotland Yard called the remarks about the murder of Stephen Lawrence "callous".

It said: "It is small wonder that his parents, Doreen and Neville Lawrence, have little faith in the police service."

Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) president Chris Fox said while the group condemned racism, the public should not make generalisations based on the documentary.

The BBC programme would have "eroded public confidence" in the police, said Chief Inspector Leroy Logan, chairman of the Metropolitan Police Black Police Association.




SEE ALSO:
My life as a secret policeman
21 Oct 03  |  Magazine
Officers suspended over race claims
20 Oct 03  |  Manchester


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