Socialist Worker

Corrupt and racist—but most cops keep their jobs

by Annette Mackin
Issue No. 2402

The Metropolitan Police force—under fire again

The Metropolitan Police force—under fire again (Pic: Metropolitan Police Media Library )


Fresh accusations of police racism and corruption in Scotland Yard emerged this week.

A Freedom of Information request into London’s Metropolitan Police has uncovered files that show cops sold confidential data for cash.

The probe revealed some 300 breaches of the Data Protection Act since 2009, which included spying on relatives and intimidating witnesses.

The breaches were made by ordinary officers, senior investigators and civilian staff in the Metropolitan Police.

The files show formal action was taken in 2011 against one detective chief inspector who “committed offences contrary to the Prevention of Corruption Act”.

Criminals also used an officer to “obtain data” from the police “to assist in criminality”.

Another officer leaked information or amended the entries of registered owners’ details of vehicles stolen by criminal networks.

The investigation also revealed cops had made racist and sexist comments on the internet.

One was caught sending an image of a caravan adorned with various Nazi references to an external address. Another wrote “Those damn n*****s” under a picture on Facebook of two men fighting.

Children

One officer was reprimanded after making sexual comments about children on a website. Others harassed colleagues and intimidated witnesses.

One community support officer left after emailing and intimidating witnesses whose addresses he gained access to ahead of a gross misconduct hearing.

The investigation, undertaken by the Press Association, follows several recent police scandals.

Last year cops were found to have spied on the family of murdered black teenager Stephen Lawrence.And cops are being investigated over allegations that they spied on Janet Alder, the sister of Christopher Alder who died in police custody in 1998.

Trade unionists suspect that police selling of sensitive data is linked to illegal blacklisting.

More than 3,200 construction workers discovered they were on one blacklist in 2009.

It was later revealed that some entries included information that only MI5 or the police would have had access to. 

The Independent Police Complaints Commission has admitted that special branches were involved in providing information to blacklists.

The police regularly claim they are reforming. The latest probe shows they are as rotten as ever.

Out of all the breaches investigated only a fifth resulted in a sacking—or retirement. 

Two thirds had unspecific “formal action” taken against them and all got to keep their anonymity.

 


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