Churches say police must screen out racists

 Churches, Commission for Racial Justice (CCRJ)have expressed a statement today expressing their dismay at the violent racist behaviour police officers in training exhibited in the BBC,s "The Secret Policeman, programme screened on Tuesday 21 October. They said: 'This unacceptable display of hatred has tended to confirm fears that the police service continues to be institutionally racist. CCRJ is seeking reassurance that such shocking attitudes are not widely held.' CCRJ Secretary, Revd Arlington Trotman said: "The overtly racist language, violently racist gestures, and the clear intention of these recruits to take their attitudes into active policing is absolutely appalling, and deserves nothing less than expulsion. The police services are therefore to be commended for the action to dismiss or accept resignations. Following the recommendations of the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry Report, the police service is in no position even to appear to defend the hatred these individuals displayed. Indeed, the police service must now do everything to implement methods to detect racists in much the same way it roots out potential criminals and fraudsters at the earliest stage." Acting Moderator of CCRJ Pat White said: "The images in the documentary report were repugnant. In reality the findings have taken police and black and minority ethnic community relations back very many years. This documentary confirmed the doubts and fears of those who believe that some forces still refuse to take the recommendations of the Lawrence Report seriously." Mr Trotman continued: "The police service now needs to do much more to stop racist applicants joining this honourable profession upon which we all depend for protection, justice and equity. Police officers are given and exercise wide powers in the name of the State when carrying out their jobs legitimately; it is, therefore, even more crucial that those powers are not put in the hands of confessed or potential abusers of the fundamental rights of people in minority ethnic communities."

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