• Sunday, June 23, 2024

HEADLINE STORY

Supervisors close ranks to defend colleagues facing racism allegations: former Met officer

Shabnam Chaudhri retired from the force in 2019 after her three-decade service

Shabnam Chaudhri (Image credit: @ShabnamChaudhri/Twitter)

By: easterneye.biz Staff

A retired Met Police detective of south Asian heritage has said officers close ranks to defend their colleagues facing allegations of racism.

Shabnam Chaudhri, who previously claimed an officer had held a weapon to her head while calling her a ‘P**i, said racism is disguised as banter in the police force.

She said she heard some officers who complain to their supervisors find themselves facing misconduct or performance hearings.

Chaudhri, who retired from the force in 2019 after her three-decade service, said she was bullied and sidelined after she complained about an officer for calling Muslim headwear ‘tea cosies’ and mispronouncing ‘Shi’ites’.

She told MyLondon: “We worked in an organisation where racism was always disguised as banter. I took it well – I’m not proud to say it but I laughed at myself. I didn’t enjoy it, but you wanted to fit in. You’re young and need to be part of the group. When I was a rookie detective in the Criminal Investigation Department, banter was the norm across all of policing.”

She also spoke about her experience while applying for promotion about 10 years into her career.

“It went pear-shaped. Suddenly I was underperforming, not good enough, and didn’t have ‘credibility’. Minor things became big. And I was rejected from the application process,” she said.

But she managed to get through and performed in the top one per cent in the force.

“I was vindicated to a degree. That upset a few people,” she says.

She said she “cried” after reading Baroness Casey’s interim report which found racial disparity across the Met’s system.

Published in October this year, it said white officers dealt with less harshly than black or Asian officers.

“I couldn’t stop crying. I was so upset to read about other officers still experiencing the challenges I had. I found that really hard to take.”

“I desperately wanted policing to move on. To read it in black and white – pardon the pun – it was a shocking thing. All these officers I’d spoken to were vindicated,” said added.

She said some of the serving officers who are in touch with her were “devastated” about the state of the force.

“They tell me because of the Casey review…they are now having to endure the pushback from others. Some are still in denial that these behaviours exist,” she said.

Met Police Sir Mark Rowley boss spoke about stern action against corrupt officers. But Chaudhri said, “You cannot sack a supervisor. You can’t remove them…You can give them performance management/action plans. But it’s very difficult. It’s a clique, and they close ranks.”

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