Chief speaks out on police racism
The slave trade might have been over but for minorities in the British police force things are not as it should be claims a top minority police chief Constable MIke Fuller of Kent police force.
Ethnic minority police have to work harder than their white colleagues to succeed, Britain's most senior black police officer has told the BBC.
Kent Chief Constable Mike Fuller told Panorama that they "have to work twice as hard to compete" and "don't feel that there is a level playing field".
Such officers often found it hard to break into specialist teams, he said.
Chief Constable Fuller said he himself had fallen prey to racism, with people having tried to block past promotions.
His comments come amid a major race row in London's Metropolitan Police (Met).
The third in command at the Met, and its most senior Asian officer, Assistant Commissioner Tarique Ghaffur, has said outgoing Metropolitan Police Chief Sir Ian Blair discriminated against him because of his race and religion.
The assistant commissioner was put on gardening leave after going public with his claims.
Another senior officer, Commander Ali Dizaei, was suspended in September by the Metropolitan Police Authority pending an investigation into his conduct.
The Metropolitan Black Police Association (MetBPA) has severed links with senior managers at the Met and accused the force of conducting a "sustained witch-hunt".
The programme found that in Strathclyde officers from an ethnic minority were five times more likely to be investigated than their white counterparts.
In the Met it was 2.5 times more likely.
Chief Constable Fuller said that this was not something he had experienced and that he was not aware of officers who had.
The Kent police chief said that both he and other senior police officers are working hard to combat racism and that staff should speak out if they feel that they are being treated unfairly.
However, he emphasised that he did not think that they should turn to legal action, as has happened in the case of Assistant Commissioner Tarique Ghaffur who is now suing the Met.
"That is very much a last resort and that shows desperation, I think, if somebody has to resort to legal action and that is a very sorry and sad state of affairs if people have to resort to legal action to be treated fairly."