Bullying, false evidence, wrongful imprisonment: Former detective lifts lid on 'compulsory' 1980s police racism

Former Metropolitan Police Detective reveals history of racism in the service

Metropolitan Police HQ

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

A former Metropolitan Police detective has lifted the lid on the "vile" racist practices which took place in the force during the 1970s and 1980s.

Peter Bleksley was speaking after Scotland Yard's new head of diversity, Victor Olisa, said the Met continues to "routinely discriminate" against black people in stop-and-search operations.

Bleskley told Julia Hartley-Brewer that, when he was a young officer in the 70s and 80s, "racism was compulsory as opposed to institutionalised. There were vile practices that went on - young black men being picked on, fitted up, perjured evidence given against them, some of them innocently sent to jail.

"Now we have moved on - it's not a darker time now as it was then. But I think the police have inched forward rather than leaping forward like they needed to, because we still find black and minority communities are under-represented in our police service.

"I think it's largely become the elephant in the room, and a mature debate has been stifled."

Bleksley also said he was "disheartened" by Olisa's claim that unwitting, performance-driven discrimination had led to a negative stereotyping of black people.

"We are more than 35 years on from when Brixton burnt for a weekend as a result of young black men being targeted [the 1981 Brixton riots]," he said, "and we're still having the same conversation."

Click on the video to hear the interview