An Independent Police Complaints Commission report has revealed that significant failings in the way three large metropolitan police forces handle complaints of discrimination.
The report found that there was insufficient training in diversity, and that this both results in complaints and means that they are not well handled.
IPCC Chair Dame Anne Owers said:
"Our findings are stark - generally complaints of discrimination made by members of the public are poorly handled from beginning to end – in relation to the way the complaint is investigated, the conclusions drawn and, importantly, the contact with the complainant.
It is vital that police forces deal effectively with allegations of discrimination. For particular sections of the community, likely to be more distrustful of the police, or more vulnerable - or both, they are litmus test of confidence in policing."
The IPCC said the criticisms of the three forces applied in particular to discrimination complaints brought by members of the public, which it said were "poorly handled from beginning to end".
Too many complaints about discrimination from the public were resolved locally - without a formal investigation - when it was not appropriate to do so, the report found.
The quality of the local resolutions was also poorer than that of formal investigations, it added.
Of 170 complaints from the public - out of 202 complaints in total examined by the IPCC alleging discrimination - 94 were investigated and, of those, no discrimination allegations were upheld, it said.
Three police forces have been criticised by the police watchdog for "poor" handling of discrimination complaints.
The West Midlands, Greater Manchester and West Yorkshire forces were accused of "significant" failings in the way they dealt with allegations of discrimination, in an Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) report.
The Independent Police Complaints Commission says it has received over 500 responses in the first 48 hours of an appeal for witnesses into the aftermath of the Hillsborough disaster.
Despite the positive response, the IPCC has urged more people to come forward to help with their investigation.
Ninety-six Liverpool fans were killed at Hillsborough during an FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest on April 15, 1989.
The IPCC's criminal investigation is examining police actions following the stadium disaster.
A bungling police detective was sacked for his "unorthodox" approach to policing and his part in losing potentially vital evidence seized during a police raid.
The admin skills of detective constable Steve Waters were so poor a move to prosecute him had to be dropped due to the lack of proper records.
The IPCC found that Dc Waters failed to properly investigate the case despite the fact that two people remained on police bail after the raid.
When the seized property subsequently had to be returned due to his "inadequate investigation" Dc Waters took a DIY approach which saw him borrow a lorry and call on a friend.
Dc Waters, a Gwent Police detective based in south Wales, was sacked in February after an Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) inquiry.
An appeal against his dismissal is still pending.
The police watchdog was called in after the owner of the seized property complained that some of the property was not returned.
Disgraced BBC presenter Jimmy Savile's penthouse apartment in Leeds has reportedly been sold - for £75,000 less than the asking price.
The deeds for the run-down flat in a development in Roundhay are said to have changed hands for £250,000 after it was bought by a property firm in the city.
The apartment, where Savile was found dead in 2011, was put on the market at £325,000 before accusations of his prolific sex offending came to light.
It was advertised as a property that offered lots of potential but needed complete redevelopment.
Leeds-born Savile bought the flat in the 1970s and it retained much of the decor from the era when it went on the market, including garish wallpaper and carpets and a dated avocado bathroom suite.
It also has panoramic views of Roundhay Park, where Savile regularly went jogging, and a private lift.
Jimmy Savile has been stripped of the Freedom of Scarborough. Councillors in the town voted unanimously to remove the honour, in the wake of the sex abuse scandal.
His name will be struck off every council record. Last year Savile's name was taken off the roll of honour.
Speaking about the redacting of material from the BBC transcripts released today, acting BBC Director General Tim Davie said this has been done following advice from external lawyers and not to protect the BBC:
In one email headed "Jimmy Savile - paedophile", BBC producer Meirion Jones, who was involved in establishing the axed Newsnight report, flagged up the idea of an investigation just hours after the presenter's death was announced.
He proposed the suggestion, possibly for Panorama, because he said some of the girls who had been molested by Savile were ready to talk about their experiences.
He wrote: "Some of the girls are now prepared to talk about this which might make a core to a film about what Jimmy Savile really got up to - and of course he's dead so he can't sue."
His emails also contain vivid transcripts of the sexual activities in which girls at Duncroft approved school - where Savile was a regular visitor - were encouraged to take part.
Chairman of the BBC Trust Lord Patten has said the Pollard review transcripts made public today by the corporation paint a "very unhappy picture".
He said in statement: "These documents paint a very unhappy picture, but theBBC needs to be open - more open than others would be - in confronting thefacts that lie behind Nick Pollard's report.
"A limited amount of text has been blacked out for legal reasons, but no one could say that the effect has been to sanitise this material, which again puts a spotlight on some of our failings. We need to acknowledge these shortcomings and learn from them."