I’m not sorry, says police chief

Sir Ian Blair, the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, has admitted that his methods may be unpopular within his force. He added that his mission to modernise the force would not be jeopardised by the fallout from this week’s employment tribunal, in which he was accused of having hung three of his officers out to dry.

His force was found to have racially discriminated against three white officers who were disciplined after allegedly making racist remarks about Muslims at a training day. Sir Ian was unrepentant and described the remarks, which were at the heart of this week’s tribunal, as Islamophobic, promising that there would be no room in his force for racism.

The Times, 2 July 2005

The Daily Mail, meanwhile, returns to the attack, devoting an entire article to one of the officers, DC Hassell, who is portrayed as the innocent victim of “bosses obsessed with political correctness”:

“The case, which revolved around a bungled presentation on Islam in which DC Hassell – woefully unqualified for the task – mispronounced Shi’ites as ‘Shitties’ and described Muslim headgear as ‘tea-cosies’, was eventually exposed as one of the most ludicrous and unfair procedures ever brought against serving officers.”

The Mail reports that Hassell also “told his colleagues that he would not want to be ‘that lot’, referring to Muslims fasting and abstaining from sex in daylight hours during the holy month of Ramadan. He still fails to see why any of that should cause offence”.

Daily Mail, 2 July 2005

The Mayor of London has issued the following statement: “Sir Ian Blair deserves full backing for his firm action in initiating disciplinary proceedings. We cannot go back to the bad old days when many of London’s diverse communities had no confidence in the police because they believed that allegations of racism in the Met were ignored.”

GLA press release, 30 June 2005