Police aim to root out racism

EVERY division and department of Essex Police is to draw up an action plan to help ensure that racial prejudice has no place in the force.The move follows the broadcast of the BBC TV programme The Secret Policeman, an undercover documentary which exposed racist attitudes and behaviour among police recruits at a training college in Bruche, Cheshire.

EVERY division and department of Essex Police is to draw up an action plan to help ensure that racial prejudice has no place in the force.

The move follows the broadcast of the BBC TV programme The Secret Policeman, an undercover documentary which exposed racist attitudes and behaviour among police recruits at a training college in Bruche, Cheshire.

Since the programme was broadcast, the Commission for Racial Equality has launched a probe into racism in Essex Police, along with all the other 42 other forces in England and Wales.

The formulation of action plans in Essex was backed by a conference of around 50 senior officers which met just three days after The Secret Policeman was broadcast.


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The meeting was also attended by representatives of the Police Federation, Black Police Association, Unison union members, and the Senior Women Officers Forum, all of whom are in favour of the proposals.

The planning day, which had been organised before the BBC documentary was shown, also laid down a number of other new policies.

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Initiatives to be developed include making sure staff are supported when challenging inappropriate behaviour and forging stronger links with minority communities.

Delegates will also work with their command teams to agree action to support diversity. These proposals will be included in each division's annual plan.

Chief Constable of Essex Police David Stevens said The Secret Policeman had caused him serious concerns.

"I was appalled and sickened by the content of the programme. It was as if the attitudes displayed by some police officers 20 years ago had never gone away.

"I do not believe it was a fair representation of modern policing, certainly not here in Essex where we have been recognised for our work on diversity.

"We all have a responsibility to ensure that prejudice never interferes with providing a fair service to all members of the community."

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