PSNI say absolutely nothing in their own defence over claim of ‘institutional racism’

The PSNI has failed to respond in any way to claims from one of its own inspectors that the force is “institutionally racist”.

Thursday, 24th December 2020, 6:06 am
Inspector George

The News Letter had put the claim to the force’s press office after it was aired by Inspector Andy George – a serving officer who is also president of the National Black Police Association (NBPA).

Inspector George, who has one parent from Northern Ireland and one from Malaysia, issued a statement on behalf of his organisation in the wake of the ombudsman’s report.

In it, he had said “whilst Northern Ireland has become more diverse, issues relating to ethnic minority communities have neither been acknowledged or included within existing frameworks” within law enforcement.

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The statement added: “I believe that PSNI is institutionally racist; in relation to existing systems and processes within PSNI which work to the detriment of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities. This does not mean that all officers and staff members are racist.”

Inspector George, who joined the force in 1999, said 41 PSNI officers and around 15 staff are of ethnic minorities – about “0.5% of the work force”.

His biography on the PSNI website says “I have been subject to more indirect racism when I felt that I was passed over for temporary promotion because of my ethnicity”.

However when he took the chief constable to an employment tribunal over alleged racial discrimination, it ruled in 2018: “The unanimous decision of the tribunal is that all claims are dismissed.”

Asked to elaborate on his claim the police are institutionally racist, he said: “The NBPA have concerns around a number of processes including recruitment, internal procedural justice, and accountability of senior officers, development and progression of ethnic minority officers and staff, and the absence of clear engagement with ethnic minority communities.”

He said he believed the “Macpherson definition” of institutional racism had been met; namely this: “The collective failure of an organisation to provide an appropriate and professional service to people because of their colour, culture or ethnic origin.

“It can be seen or detected in processes, attitudes and behaviour which amount to discrimination through unwitting prejudice, ignorance, thoughtlessness and racial stereotyping.”

The PSNI told the News Letter: “The PSNI does not comment on named individuals and no inference should be drawn from this.

“Nothing further to add to the Chief Constable’s statement issued following the Ombudsman’s report.”

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