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Hampshire police top table for racism complaints

Action has been taken against six officers in the last six years following allegations of racism - but none have been sacked

Hampshire Constabulary received the highest number of complaints

Over the last six years, there has been one complaint of racist behaviour for every ten police officers in Hampshire - the highest rate of all the forces in England, Scotland and Wales.

Data from 34 police forces showed that Hampshire had the highest rate of allegations of racism, with 349 made between 2008 and 2013 – equating to 10.7% of all of its officers.

As a result of these complaints, action was taken against six officers during this period, although none were sacked or resigned.

Although there were fewer complaints made against Hampshire officers than those of London’s Metropolitan Police, which topped the chart with 3,251, the far greater numbers of officers (30,932 compared to 3,247) means the rate of incidents was proportionately higher in Hampshire than the 10.5% recorded for Metropolitan Police.

Hampshire Constabulary’s number of complaints was higher than the previous six-year period. There were 266 complaints between 2001 and 2008, meaning there was a rise of 31% in the subsequent period.

There have been 11 complaints made about officers in the county in 2014 so far.

Across all the forces in England, Scotland and Wales that responded, there were 5,943 complaints between 2008 and 2013, resulting in action being taken against 93 officers and 14 being sacked or resigning.

For every 100 complaints in England, Scotland and Wales, 5.8 were made against Hampshire officers.

Examples of the nature of the complaints nationwide included racist texts being sent by an officer, an inflammatory post on social media and an inappropriate gift being given to a colleague.

In one case in South Yorkshire, an officer asked a dog owner ‘does your dog like curry?’ after it bit someone's hand, before trying to embarrass an individual by playing an Asian ringtone and telling a colleague that any complaint would ‘go nowhere’.

A total of 34 forces responded to the request for data given to the News & Mail, with five refusing and a further five not responding.

Kent, Durham and North Yorkshire had the lowest rates of alleged racism among their officers, with 0.2% subject to complaints.

Surrey Police and Thames Valley Police both refused to respond to the request, citing the excessive costs involved in compiling the figures.

A Hampshire Police spokesperson said: "We cannot comment on the recording of such allegations by other forces.

"Hampshire Constabulary ethically records and investigates all allegations of racism.

"The vast majority of such allegations are found to be not upheld or are subject to local resolution.

"Any more serious instances of direct racism are thankfully, very rare - and are dealt with very robustly.

"The public of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight should have confidence that they can report such matters to Hampshire Constabulary's Professional Standards Department - and that such matters will be proportionately investigated."

 
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