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Growing ‘culture of extremism’ among UK and European police forces, report warns | Police


Police forces within the UK and throughout Europe are affected by a rising “tradition of extremism”, in accordance with a report that warns of a rise in officers sharing racist and far-right content material on-line. The report, by the Institute of Race Relations (IRR), says UK policing has a rising extremist drawback, and highlights points throughout Europe. In France, 81% of gendarmes declared they’d vote for far-right politician Marine Le Pen.

In France, Belgium, Germany and Hungary former high-ranking cops have change into extreme-right mayoral and parliamentary candidates.

Within the UK, a sequence of current instances involving the Metropolitan police have additional broken the popularity of a pressure lengthy accused of being “institutionally racist”. They embrace officers sharing photographs on WhatsApp of two murdered black sisters. One other group of officers, at a central London station, had been discovered to have joked about rape, killing black youngsters and beating their wives.

The Met was final month positioned on particular measures after scandals together with the homicide of Sarah Everard by a serving Met officer, the strip-searching of harmless black youngsters, and stop-and-search controversies together with that of the British Olympic sprinter Bianca Williams.

Liz Fekete, director of IRR, mentioned: “Our conclusion that the dehumanizing mindset and total sense of impunity and entitlement displayed in police WhatsApp teams is a symptom, not a trigger, of authoritarian tendencies in policing, will little question make for uncomfortable studying. “

Fekete added: “Racism has change into entrenched in policing because the rank and file are resituating themselves as society’s victims and organizing on an ever extra extremist agenda.”

The report additionally warns that the “skinny blue line” avatar and hashtag are nonetheless seen on the Twitter feeds of cops, together with a safer neighborhood staff in London, they usually have been noticed on the uniforms of officers in Manchester. Within the US, the skinny blue line avatar and “blue lives matter” motion are related to white nationalism, with serving and retired officers implicated within the Capitol Hill siege.

Fekete warned that the skinny blue line had change into a “besieged and misunderstood minority group” with a proliferation of sufferer narratives that symbolize rank-and-file officers because the aggrieved celebration in debates on police racism and use of pressure.

The report additionally warns of a hyperlink between racist attitudes and operational observe, significantly in relation to predictive policing and racial profiling. Final December, considerations had been raised concerning the Met’s Operation Pima through which 61% of people recognized inside intelligence studies because the “most prolific or violent offenders” in London had been black.

Ilyas Nagdee, from Amnesty Worldwide, mentioned the analysis was vital significantly as discussions about “different approaches to public security” gained floor.

Mark Rowley was final week unveiled because the Met’s new commissioner, a determine whose earlier place as its head of counter-terrorism means he’s properly versed within the challenges posed by extremism, each inside and outdoors the pressure.

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