A leading Muslim organisation has condemned the “unchecked racism and discrimination” described in a damning review of the Metropolitan Police.
Baroness Louise Casey’s report, published on Tuesday, unearthed a series of alarming case studies which showed officers being bullied because of their religious beliefs.
In one example, a Muslim officer said they found bacon left in their boots but chose not to report the incident because they “didn’t want to be branded a person who played the race card”.
Zara Mohammed, secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain, said: “Baroness Louise Casey’s report is a damning indictment of the culture of impunity within the Metropolitan Police force, where officers from minority backgrounds have been subject to unchecked racism and discrimination and the concerns of minority communities have remained unaddressed.
“Islamophobia, like any other form of racism, must be tackled decisively. The report cites an incident in which a Muslim police officer had bacon stuffed into his boots, which were in his locked locker. The officer did not tell anyone of the incident at the time ‘out of fear of reprisals’. It is simply unacceptable that Muslim officers must face such racism in the workplace.”
She said it is essential the Met now prioritises building trust with all communities through “meaningful action, accountability and a commitment to change”.
Ms Mohammed added: “While the findings of the Casey report are deeply concerning, it is important to commend those officers who are working hard to serve and protect their communities.
“The Metropolitan Police must take immediate steps to address the systemic issues identified in the report, replicate and amplify the good work and conduct of any exemplary officers on the force, and work towards creating a police force that is truly representative of, and responsive to, the needs of all communities.”
“The case (in the report) shows that anti-Muslim prejudice is still an issue in the Met and whilst the vast majority of officers act and work professionally and in line with high standards, there are still some ‘rotten apples’ in the barrel.
“We stand ready to help the Met in working through ways to tackle and root out anti-Muslim prejudice.”
The report also highlighted several examples of Sikh officers being targeted, with one having his beard cut and another finding his turban in a shoe box because the offenders “thought it was funny”.
Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley and Baroness Casey are due to appear before the London Assembly police and crime committee on Wednesday.