Police officers have often been accused of racism, sexism and, even on occasion, fascism but often these accusations are denied or refuted as being either completely unfounded or as being sourced from aggrieved individuals with no, or little, basis in fact. Nevertheless, the accusations continue. These accusations, largely, come from ethnic minorities and, in particular, the black and Asian communities. Women tend to be less vocal and even then, by women who are serving police officers regarding poor promotional prospects; on the whole, most accusations made against the police are in relation to race or ethnicity rather than gender.

Are these accusations justified? Do the police suffer from HSSC Constable Cut Off racism as reported in the Macpherson Inquiry following the tragic death of Stephen Lawrence in London? Alternatively, is it truly a case that, statistically, men (and it is mostly men) who are black are more likely to commit street crime and thus police stop and search of such minorities are appropriate? Would even this justify the evidence that shows police officers stop and search those who are black, six times more often than those who are white?

Police officers generally stop individuals they suspect of committing, or being likely to commit, an offence. They are supposed to be equal in their treatment of those they stop and should not undertake, even subconsciously, racial profiling in order to carry out their duties. Of course, police officers are human and thus not infallible and so bring to their work (as many people do) their own prejudices, beliefs, opinions and interpretations of society and the problems within it. Whilst in a modern, multicultural and multi ethnic society, such prejudices are expected to be minimal, the reality is that in some areas of the UK, minorities are viewed as either taking over or being given the soft treatment because of their race or ethnicity.

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