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Exclusive: Internal report reveals concerns of 'institutional racism' in police

Report leaked to Tyne Tees has raised concerns of institutional racism within Cleveland Police. Photo: ITV Tyne Tees

An internal police report leaked to Tyne Tees has raised concerns of institutional racism within Cleveland Police.

The report reveals damning allegations of how officers were called racist names by their own colleagues - with claims that the language often went unchallenged.

It also outlines concerns that black and ethnic minority officers had their mistakes highlighted and performance undermined, and said they were working in an 'increasingly hostile environment'.

One officer said that they had thought about killing themselves, rather than going to work.

Another extract read: "Asians don't trust the police in our community, if you have people leading us who are racist, how can we progress?"

One allegation outlined how 'bullying and harassment was from managers...and was often excessive."

In total, 61% of the interviewees said they believed they had been treated unfairly.

The interim report was commissioned by Chief Constable Jacqui Cheer, after she heard of the initial concerns.

But Tyne Tees has also seen another document labelled "Final Report 2013", and some of the most serious allegations are not included.

Cleveland Police said the reason information was removed was to protect the identity of some of the participants, and that the final Equality Review would be comprehensive.

They said the force was not 'institutionally racist' by the definition of the term, but added "that's not to say they did not have some serious issues to address."

Since she commissioned the report, the Chief Constable has introduced a new set of values and a promotion process, along with other changes.

The force added that change had to be sustainable and significant, and will take time.

But a former Cleveland Officer who was the victim of discrimination 20 years ago has reacted with 'shock and sadness' to report.

Sultan Alam said: "We are many years down the line since the discrimination act. We are 20 years down the line since some of the things that I was a victim of."

"To read some of things that I have read in that report, I'm saddened because we look to our police service to protect us. And if the police service cannot protect their own, how do we expect them to protect us?"

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