Racism complaints against British police have doubled over the past decade from 74 in 2001-02 to 167 in 2010-11, while less than one in every 40 accused officers have faced official punishment, warns a new report.
An investigation by the Independent on Sunday (IoS) revealed that although the UK police forces have received hundreds of allegations of racist behavior in the 10 year period, the vast majority of complaints submitted by alleged victims have been rejected as baseless and "unsubstantiated".
According to an analysis of complaints received by 20 forces, including Kent, Bedfordshire, Central Scotland and Derbyshire, over 1,500 officers and civilian staff have been accused of racist behavior.
Racism within the British police came under spotlight last month when the Guardian published a mobile phone recording which captured Metropolitan police constable Alex MacFarlane racially abusing a young black man.
"I have now come to the conclusion that the police are in denial about the extent that racism exists within the police force,” said Ken Hinds, chairman of the north London-based Haringey Stop and Search Monitoring Group.
"Very few people from the black and ethnic communities ever complain about the treatment they have received in a police street encounter."
However, Simon Reed, vice-chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales, said that the figures show that “the vast majority of complaints made are found to have no substance to them and reflect the often hostile and confrontational situations police officers find themselves involved in.”