Police watchdog, IOPC launches review into 'race discrimination'

Police launch nationwide review into police 'racial discrimination' Credit: Instagram @Biancawills

Police forces across England and Wales, including the Metropolitan Police face a review into whether officers are racially discriminating against ethnic minorities.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) review will focus on the use of force and stop and search amid tensions over the police's handling of recent cases that have been caught on camera.

IOPC director general Michael Lockwood said a review will be launched in the coming months, with a race discrimination focus "to establish the trends and patterns which might help drive real change in policing practice".

"In the coming months, we will be launching race discrimination as a thematic area of focus to establish the trends and patterns which might help drive real change in policing practice." he added.

It comes after Metropolitan Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick apologised this week to athlete Bianca Williams for the "distress" caused by a stop and search.

GB sprinter Bianca Williams and her partner Ricardo dos Santos were involved in a stop and search. Credit: Instagram @Biancawills

A video of the incident, which saw the Great Britain sprinter and her partner Ricardo dos Santos pulled from their car in a London street, was posted online by former Olympic 100m champion Linford Christie.

Former Olympic Gold Medalist Linford Christie at Buckingham Palace where he received an OBE (Order of the British Empire) from The Queen. Credit: PA

Mr Lockwood, who noted the IOPC only sees a small number of cases where discrimination is alleged, said: "Initially we will focus on investigating more cases where there is an indication that disproportionality impacts the BAME community, including stop and search and use of force. "

IOPC said they would also be investigating more cases where victims from BAME communities have felt unfairly treated by the police.

This could include whether the police are treating allegations of hate crime from BAME people seriously, and if there are cases where they are failing to treat them as victims of crime.