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Last Updated: Tuesday, 27 April, 2004, 15:41 GMT 16:41 UK
Police chief's 'demeaning' rap
Deputy Chief Constable Clive Wolfendale

A rap song performed by North Wales' deputy chief constable has been attacked as "demeaning" and "laughable" by the head of the Commission for Racial Equality (CRE).

Clive Wolfendale performed the song at the inaugural meeting of the North Wales Black Police Association (NWBPA).

It included lines like "Bein' in the dibble is no cakewalk when you're black. If you don't get fitted, then you'll prob'ly get the sack."

Mr Wolfendale began an address to more than 100 people with his rap at the first meeting of the (NWBPA) at the force's headquarters last month.

CRE Chairman Trevor Phillips referred to the unconventional performance during a speech to black civil servants in London on Monday. He spoke about the dangers of liberal Britain and "misguided" policies on ethnic minorities that were inherently racist.

Footage from The Secret Policeman
Rob Pulling filmed wearing a Ku Klux Klan-style hood
"I mean, for example, the deputy chief constable of a police force going to the inaugural meeting of his force's black police association and, despite the fact that most of the members of the BPA are British-born or British-raised, and many of them of South Asian origin, addressing them in rap.

"Presumably this was an attempt to get down with their supposed culture'. How wrong. How patronising...

"Can we imagine Sir John Stevens (the Metropolitan Police Commissioner) turning up to address the London Police Federation and starting off with a rousing chorus of "Maybe It's Because I'm A Londoner" before discussing his policing strategy in Cockney rhyming slang?"

The National Black Police Association said Mr Wolfendale had been advised not to go ahead with his rap performance but he refused to listen.

"I think the view was that it would not to be a clever thing for a deputy chief constable to partake in. As far as I understand the majority of officers that were present were offended by it," said spokesman Clive Morris.

The deputy chief constable of North Wales Police had the full support all our executive members to present the feature in the form of a rap.
NWBPA Chairman Roger Benedict
Mr Wolfendale's 11-verse rap was intended to be ironic and he responded to his critics by saying: "Without wishing to sound patronising, I think Mr Phillips has missed the point."

In the rap, he made reference to the BBC's undercover documentary The Secret Policeman which exposed racism at a police training college.

He rapped: "The Beeb Man stuffed us with the Secret Policeman. It's no good moanin' cos' he found the Ku Klux Klan. Job ain't what it used to be; it's full of blacks and gays. It was just us white homies in the really good ole' days."

During the secretly-filmed documentary, Rhyl-based Pc Rob Pulling could be seen wearing a Ku Klux Klan-style hood and talking about killing an Asian man.

Pc Rob Pulling resigned soon after and a second North Wales officer featured in the film, Pc Keith Cheshire from Wrexham, left the force this month before facing a disciplinary hearing.

Shortly after the NWBPA was set up as part of action by the force to eliminate racism from its ranks.

And, it seems at least the NWBPA spoke up in Mr Wolfendale's defence.

Chairman Roger Benedict said: "We fully support the Commission for Racial Equality and all that it stands for. However, our association finds Mr Trevor Phillips' comments about 'misguided pandering to ethnic minorities' somewhat confusing.

"The deputy chief constable of North Wales Police had the full support all our executive members to present the feature in the form of a rap.

"This, our association viewed as breaking barriers whilst delivering a strong, positive message to our community and potential recruits."




SEE ALSO:
Pc resigns after race comment
07 Apr 04  |  Wales
Police sack civilian worker
23 Nov 03  |  North West Wales
No charges against racist Pc
08 Mar 04  |  Wales


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