Anorak News | Shooting The Messenger

Shooting The Messenger

by | 20th, October 2003

‘TO Home Secretary David Blunkett’s impressive list of illiberal reforms of the criminal justice system we can add another – if in doubt, shoot the messenger.

Beneath the hood, PC Sanjiv Patel felt like he finally belonged

That was his immediate response to reports that the BBC is to broadcast a documentary that includes damning footage of racism among police recruits.

The Guardian says scenes filmed by an undercover reporter show a recruit disparaging the character of murdered black teenager Stephen Lawrence and his family.

The same trainee officer is also shown wearing a Ku Klux Klan type hood and threatening to harass the only British Asian recruit on the course.

“Other white recruits make racist comments or fail to protest,” it says.

Pretty damning stuff, you might think, especially as the officer in question is now thought to be serving in the North Wales force.

However, the reaction of the police was to arrest Mark Daly, the journalist who made the report, and charge him with gaining salary by deception and damaging a bullet-proof vest by hiding a camera in it.

And the reaction of Mr Blunkett has been to condemn the BBC for its methods in compiling the report.

“We have raised concerns with the BBC not about their right to expose racism but their intent to create, not report, a story,” he said.

The right way to have gone about it would have been to phone the police press office and ask if there were any racist police officers in the force and, if so, whether the police had any incriminating footage they could provide.’

Posted: 20th, October 2003 | In: Broadsheets Comment | TrackBack | Permalink