Page last updated at 13:03 GMT, Sunday, 21 September 2008 14:03 UK

Black police 'are spied on' claim

Commander Ali Dizaei
Commander Ali Dizaei was spied on by his colleagues

Senior members of the Met's Black Police Association (BPA) say they are concerned they are being spied on by fellow officers, the BBC has learnt.

Some are so worried that they are taking counter-surveillance measures, such as having rooms "swept" for bugs.

It is the latest twist in a bitter dispute between the Met and its prominent ethnic minority staff.

A source said the BPA was fighting against attempts by the Met to "crush any challenge" to its authority.

BBC correspondent Barnie Choudhury said the revelation the BPA suspected conversations were being monitored "shows the level of mistrust of the Metropolitan Police by some black and Asian officers."

An unnamed BPA source told the BBC: "There is a constant battle and it's the systematic failure within the organisation. It's an attempt to crush any challenge, any dissent, by black and Asian officers."

Unnecessary comment is not helpful and we have taken the view that less said in public is better
Metropolitan Police spokesman

The revelations follow the suspension last week of the president of the National Black Police Association, Commander Ali Dizaei, on allegations of misconduct.

BBC News has been told some prominent members of the Met BPA are now holding secret meetings in undisclosed locations. They have also bought pay-as-you go phones to prevent conversations being tapped and are having their offices swept daily for electronic bugs.

They say it is because of fears following a two-year investigation into Dr Dizaei, the current President of the National Black Police Association.

Surveillance

In 1999 Dr Dizaei was put under surveillance in an investigation codenamed Operation Helios. He was eventually cleared of any wrongdoing in 2003.

Earlier this week, the Met BPA chairman, Alfred John, said: "Dr Dizaei has been the victim of what we believe to be the culmination of a sustained witch hunt."

The Met has responded by re-issuing a previous statement, which said: "We have seen a number of comments over recent weeks from Mr John and we do not recognise his description of what is happening in the Metropolitan Police Service and Metropolitan Police Authority.

"Unnecessary comment is not helpful and we have taken the view that less said in public is better."


SEE ALSO
Senior officer Dizaei suspended
19 Sep 08 |  London
Sir Ian apologises for 4m probe
05 Jun 07 |  London

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