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‘Race Still A Problem In The Police Force’, Says Black PC


Firearms officer claims the Met has not learned lessons from Stephen Lawrence investigation

A black female police officer has accused the Met of failing to learn lessons from the Stephen Lawrence inquiry, which found that the force was institutionally racist.

Carol Howard, a firearms officer with the elite group that protects politicians and embassies, is suing the Metropolitan Police for racial and sexual discrimination

Howard, once Scotland Yard’s Olympics security poster girl, said she was she was bullied by a senior officer. The tribunal heard that acting inspector Dave Kelly also spied on her through CCTV

The 34-year-old, one of only two black women out of 700 officers in the elite Diplomatic Protection Group, that helped safeguard London from terror attacks during the 2012 Games, claims she was intimidated by an ‘aggressive’ inspector.

She said he had once ‘scolded’ her in front of other senior officers while he was armed with a Taser and a handgun, reducing her to tears.

In a witness statement to the central London Hearing, she said her career as a firearms officer was disrupted when Kelly was posted to the group in December 2011.

“From then on, I was targeted, subjected to detrimental treatment and harassed,” she said

The constable also told the tribunal hearing “there has been a blatant cover-up by the Met”.

She added: “The police have not learned any lessons from the Macpherson Report and they still continue to discriminate.”

PC Gary Flaherty, who worked with her, said he saw her upset on several occasions as a result of the alleged bullying

In his statement to the tribunal, he said that once in 2012 she was called into the sergeants’ room by Kelly, and was scolded by him in front of three other sergeants.

He said: ‘She told me he was armed with a Taser and a handgun, whereas she had just handed in all her weaponry, which was intimidating for her. She was visibly upset and in tears.’

The Metropolitan Police has said it will ‘robustly defend the claim’. The hearing continues.

Last week commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe called for a change in the law to allow positive discrimination to recruit more black and ethnic minority officers.

Scotland Yard will have to recruit an ethnic minority officer for every white officer they take on, under radical plans to shake off its reputation for racism in the ranks.

PHOTO: SPEAKING OUT: Firearms officer Carol Howard

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