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Last Updated: Thursday, 30 October, 2003, 15:53 GMT
Force 'to root out racism'
Undercover reporter Mark Daly
Undercover journalist Mark Daly's report shocked senior police
A police chief has admitted that racist police recruits, exposed in a BBC documentary, cannot be dismissed as "just a few bad apples".

The chief constable of Sussex Police, Ken Jones, spoke out in response to The Secret Policeman, in which a journalist went undercover to expose racism at a police training school.

Mr Jones said the force must move beyond talk of "mere tolerance" to "positive anti racism and anti discrimination".

And on Thursday, the MP for Manchester Central, Tony Lloyd, said Mark Daly, the journalist who exposed the story, "did the nation a service".

Beyond 'mere tolerance'

Mr Jones said: "People of my generation had hoped there would be a change in attitudes towards diversity as new, young people joined the service.

"It is now apparent that this can no longer be taken for granted."

Six police officers, from Greater Manchester Police, North Wales Police and Cheshire Police, resigned after the programme, which captured racist comments on film.

Mr Jones said his officers would be invited to watch and learn from the documentary and that the force would build on a new seven-point action plan agreed by chief constables last week.

He said officers in Sussex would be asked to sign a declaration supporting fairness, equity, justice and the building of a culture which was "hostile" to discrimination.

Rooting out racism

He encouraged his officers to "root out" racist behaviour in the force, saying: "We can, and will, build something positive from this experience."

Mark Daly, the reporter who secretly filmed material for the documentary while he was training and qualifying as a police officer, was arrested on suspicion of obtaining pecuniary advantage by deception and damaging police property.

On Thursday, the MP Tony Lloyd, urged Solicitor General Harriet Harman to block any charges.

He said: "It would not be in the public interest. It would be far better for the senior police to be involved in making sure we drive the racists out of the police force."

Can you test for racism?
22 Oct 03  |  UK
My life as a secret policeman
21 Oct 03  |  Magazine

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