Just 1% Of Racism Allegations Against The Police Are Upheld
The statistic is revealed by a Channel 4 Dispatches documentary that will air tonight.
The figure was revealed after Channel 4 Dispatches submitted hundreds of Freedom of Information requests to police forces around the country.
Dame Anne Owers, Chair of the Independent Police Complaints Commission. said that "common sense" indicates there is a problem.
What we've found when we've dug into the way that forces handle complaints of race discrimination and indeed discrimination in general is that they don't do it well and the evidence seems to be that those complaints are less likely to be upheld than other kinds of complaints.
The investigation found that some police forces paid out even when allegations of racism complaints were not upheld.
25 police forces had upheld 42 allegations of racism against police officers, but paid out 52 times. 45 of those were by the Metropolitan police, even though they only upheld 13 allegations of racism.
Either the police are paying out on complaints that are unmeritorious and wouldn't result in a finding, or alternatively the complaints system is not making findings against police officers in circumstances where the police know a court would. If it's the second reason and many of us think it may well be, then something's going wrong with the complaints system.
We will defend our position but out of court settlements with no admission of liability will also form part of the consideration in order to avoid costly litigation. Where we believe we, or one of our officers, has been in the wrong we will accept responsibility and take appropriate action.
The programme will also show that a police officer labelled racist by a judge in a civil court in 2003 is still working for the Metropolitan Police.
The judge described the abuse of Sylbert Farquharson by PC Kevin Bridgeman and another PC as 'vicious and cowardly'.
The judge said: "He was subjected to explicit racist abuse in the street and a particularly vicious and cowardly form of racist abuse at the police station."
An internal investigation was conducted by another police force - Greater Manchester Police. It found no evidence of racial abuse by PC Kevin Bridgeman. And he denied all the allegations. But when the Independent Police Complaints Commission told the Metropolitan Police to conduct disciplinary proceedings against him, the Met found he had committed no wrongdoing.
The Met would not release the internal investigation, citing statutory regulations nor confirm the identity of the officers. PC Bridgeman did not wish to comment.
The victim in this case was Sylbert Farquharson. In an exclusive interview with presenter Ade Adepitan he explained what he went through and his disgust at hearing that PC Bridgeman was still working for the police. Mr Farquharson, at 58 years old, was awarded damages of a quarter of a million pounds for assault, wrongful arrest and malicious prosecution at the hands of five white officers
Secrets of the Police: Channel 4 Dispatches will air tonight at 8pm.