"I don't think the police want to face the prospect of having to sift out the bad apples," one victim of police discrimination told the BBC. "The police need to get tough. They need to start dealing with the stereotypes," Don Lorenzo continued, who was awarded damages in 2011 after being racially abused by West Midlands Police as they arrested him.
According to the report published on Tuesday, which is based on data from 48 UK police forces released after a Freedom of Information Request, more than 6,600 complaints of racism have been made since 2010 against British police officers. Of those, almost 800 were upheld, and consequently just 20 officers were dismissed from the force.
However, Deputy Chief Constable Alan Goodwin of the Association of Chief Police Officers defended the figures: "Around 300 officers per year end their careers because of misconduct and, proportionally speaking, officers have a much higher chance of being dismissed where it is felt that there is a case to answer for racism," he told the BBC, adding that "there is no place in the police for racists."
The Metropolitan Police was revealed to have dismissed 10 of the 20 police officers forced to leave the service. These included an officer who had verbally abused a train inspector after his friends were not allowed to travel free of charge. In most cases, however, police authorities used other means of dealing with offending officers, including issuing warnings, offering advice and scheduling counseling.
However, despite declarations by the British government that 67 of the 70 recommendations have been "implemented fully or in part," problems of racism are still reported to persist in the force. On the 20th anniversary of Stephen Lawrence's death last year, the Metropolitan Black Police Association, which represents ethnic minority members of the police force, said it still believes the force is institutionally racist, citing practices such as the disproportionate stop and search of people from minority ethnic groups.