Scottish Racism in Policing

Gloria Gaynor praised Sgt Jon Harris of Police Scotland
‘I love this! Sgt Jon Harris sang #IWillSurvive to smooth tensions in Glasgow pub after a brawl’. That’s what Black American songstress Gloria Gaynor tweeted when a police officer performed her disco classic at Waterloo Bar in Scotland’s largest city.[1] The event host also poured on the adulation saying, ‘he was brilliant and just goes to show not all bad can be said about Police Scotland,’ certainly striking a high note for 2016 community relations. In fact, the law enforcing karaoke king apparently wanted to end his starring turn after one verse, but the packed crowd cheered him on to complete the spontaneous set. The jovial vibes evident in the video were certainly what Gloria Gaynor is used to her song evoking, hence she was clearly glad it had also succeeded in this endeavour even through the medium of the Scottish police. Therefore, as a woman of colour, she might be alarmed to know that all too often, such joyous vibes placating the mostly white Waterloo Bar crowd are not evoked during police interactions with Black people and other BAME communities in Scotland. The lived reality of police dealings with ethnic minorities are in fact all too often laden with institutional racism, at its most extreme also culminating in deaths in police custody. These are all too common across the USA, like the recent killing of George Floyd[2] in Minnesota or indeed of the killing 2 days prior of Maurice Gordon[3] in New Jersey from where Gloria Gaynor hails. Indeed, the sense of impunity to do the opposite of ‘serve and protect’ exists right across the world where white supremacy is the law of the land from France to Israel to Australia and beyond…all the way back here to Scottish shores.

Police Racism towards BAME Victims  

The Cutkelvins and their father Derek
Of the many interesting revelations in the 2019 documentary Black & Scottish[4]finding out the Series 14 X-Factor semi-finalists The Cutkelvins hailed from the small town of Lanark was certainly one of them. The band of singing siblings spoke of their grandfather emigrating from Belize in the 1940s and marrying locally to produce mixed-raced children who incidentally formed their own singing group together. Unfortunately, the family history then took a turn as band member Shereen shared how their father Derek got lots of racist abuse in the 1970s/80s, and when reported to the police, one officer simply replied, ‘Well, you should be used to this type of behaviour.’ This type of police apathy regarding crimes against Black victims is undoubtedly part of why the wider Scottish public continue to perpetuate racist attacks through the generations, with Shereen’s brothers Kyle and Jay sharing that they’d had knives pulled out on them during multiple fights growing up in the 1990s/2000s.

Police ApathyTheir story correlates with a 2004 study on policing Strathclyde racist incidents, which found that whilst only 40% of white Scots had suffered property damage, threats, offensive remarks or physical assault in public spaces, victims of such crimes increased to over 60%of visual minorities in general and even higher to 80% of BAME women specifically in the same time period.[5] Ethnic minorities being a high target of crime in Scotland has not changed through the years considering in 2013-2014, the police recorded 4,907 racist incidents[6]equivalent to 92 cases per week across the region. One
Helde 'Melo' Demello protecting himself during a racist attack
such 2014 attack was caught on camera when
 Angolan busker Helde ‘Melo’ Demello[7] was physically and verbally assaulted by racists Fraser Elliot and Francis Muir in Glasgow’s Sauchiehall Street, repeatedly calling him a ‘black b*****d’, brazenly indifferent to being videoed. Despite trying to bring cheer to the ears of passing pedestrians, his dark skin brought offence to the eyes of these yobs. Such attitudes endure to the present day as a similar attack happened over in Edinburgh’s Niddrie area to Pakistani shopkeepers Nadeem and Mudassar Akbar[8]In February 2020, they were accosted outside their store by a gang of 20 male and female youths calling them ‘P*** b******s’. Armed with crowbars and a kitchen knife, the brutal assault could easily have become fatal if the gang hadn’t dispersed after a passer-by intervened. Indeed, Scotland has a ‘higher rate of race-related murders per person than the rest of the UK.’[9]

The persistence of such heinous attacks on Scotland’s BAME community could be, as per the 2017 findings of a Coalition for Racial Equality and Rights (CRER) hard-hitting submission to the Scottish parliament, due to institutional racism in the police force. Just like The Cutkelvins’ father 2 generations ago, police apathy when dealing with complaints about racist incidents[10] was still very much a central criticism. It said, ‘in our experience, many people who report ongoing racial harassment...have previously complained to the police
Racist gang attack Nadeem and Mudassar Akbar
services about issues such as verbal harassment or minor vandalism.’ Indeed, assaulted shopkeepers Nadeem and Mudassar Akbar called the police almost every day over two months reporting ‘racist abuse, shoplifting, intimidating customers, coming into the shop and throwing things[11] around before the terrifying life-threatening attack took place. The CRER however contended that such complaints often either go unresolved early on or are simply not taken seriously. I interviewed Children's Rights Practice & Policy Officer Zaki El-Salahi where he shared that BAME primary aged children in Edinburgh had been pushed into oncoming traffic by white Scottish children AND adults. The victims’ parents had approached the police about the hate crime who did not respond in any way proportionate to the attempted murder of young children. In another instance, another person had informed the police of repeated racial harassment with no action taken against the culprits. Undoubtedly encouraged by no repercussions to their vile conduct, the harassers escalated to attacking the man on his doorstep during which he retaliated to defend himself. However, in the wake of the assault, the police then arrested and detained him, tantamount to punishment for being ‘assaulted while Black’.[12]

This culture of silencing BAME community concerns also takes the form of active discouragement to classify crimes as racially motivated[13]particularly in face-to-face police interactions. In one case where someone had reported receiving a threatening, racist email, they were asked repeatedly if it was ‘just a prank’ or really ‘worth the hassle’ of pursuing it further. The CRER submission noted when law enforcement offers different rationales, inserting their own opinion in a manner that invalidates the complaint and discredits the complainant, it’s understandable that victims of racism not only feel discouraged from reporting incidents to the police, but also ‘an apprehension of, and distrust in, police services’. If this is the reaction to initial smaller racial offenses, victims are then less likely to come forward about more serious offenses, understanding it is a pointless exercise. This means the stats for race crimes would be a lot higher if not for the many unreported incidents that in fact occur. Thus the routine denial that institutional racism exists by Police Scotland’s high ranking members ‘indicates a misunderstanding of the issue’ and general ‘refusal to acknowledge the experiences of BAME individuals’. 

Scotland’s most senior officer, 
Chief Constable Iain Livingstone
On the odd occasion that Police Chiefs have reached out to Black-led anti-racist community organisations, Zaki El-Salahi recalls that all the suggestions offered during the consultations were not actually implemented. ‘When crimes happened, no real action was taken, meaning the community outreach gesture was disingenuous’. Moreover, there was no consistency when Police Chiefs transfer jurisdictions. ‘We had to begin a new relationship with each incoming Chief rather than having one consistent liaison within the local police department. It again highlighted no/incredibly weak commitment to engage with the Black community.'  Previous CRER Senior Policy Officer Carol Young said, ‘there is a perception that Scotland has less of a problem with racism than other areas of the UK, perhaps best summed up by the phrase ‘we’re all Jock Tamson’s bairns’. But regardless of popular opinion, the statistics suggest otherwise’.[14]

This same phenomenon can be seen in incidents of Islamophobia. Almost 75% of Muslim women in Scotland have suffered abuse against their faith,[15] correlating with the 2004
Tackling Islamophobia chair MSP Anas Sarwar
Strathclyde police report revealing that women bear the brunt of hate crime. However, the cross-party 2020 Scottish Parliament Tackling Islamophobia report chaired by Labour MSP Anas Sarwar found that only 21%  of anti-Muslim hate crime victims in Scotland inform the police as 79% lack confidence in law enforcement, believing their complaint would not be taken seriously. [16] This is an understandable perception as ‘Even those participants who did report Islamophobia to the police [said] that no action was taken by the police after their report was received. This was highlighted as a reason why they would not have confidence in reporting abuse to the police in the future.’(Incidentally, this is the same reaction of school students reporting racism to consistently apathetic teachers.) Knowing Scottish law would not be upheld, some victims began taking matters into their own hands by changing to ‘less Muslim sounding’ names, changing their accents, changing their dress, and avoiding the city centre, public transport and swimming pools. For me, it seems the issue is not a lack of understanding, but a lack of willingness to understand, in which case police ‘apathy’ actually presents as police complicity. But beyond passive police indifference towards crimes against BAME victims, there is also active police persecution towards the BAME public.

Police Racism towards BAME Public

BAME people disproportionately stopped and searched
Police Harassment: For years, one of the major complaints about police behaviour towards BAME people is the disproportionate use of ‘Stop and Search[17]an operational tactic in the prevention, investigation and detection of crime, with the intention of keeping people safe and improving community wellbeing. However, the supposed wellbeing seems subjective to different communities as BAME people are almost 4 times more likely to be‘randomly selected’ than white Scots.[18] More specifically, an Independent Advisory Group report showed the stop rate for Asian, Black, and white Scots were 11, 10.5 and 3 per 1,000 respectively. This is a truly worrying disparity, particularly as stats also reveal a search of ethnic minorities is ‘less likely to lead to detection of a crime’. The 2018 report by Edinburgh University Quantitative Criminology Professor Susan McVie and others in part used information from the 2011 census, but nonetheless still demonstrated the prejudicial nature of this disruptive practice. This is quite upsetting to people going about their day doing nothing wrong and the clear discrimination was slammed by MSP Anas Sarwar. Though some were quick to deny the facts and accuse the ethnic Pakistani politician of ‘playing the race card’[19]including Scottish Police Federation (SPF) vice chairman David Hamilton and general secretary Calum Steele. Their attitude emulates the same evasiveness employed in the pursuit of frivolous cases where the police have more intensely abused their power.

Police brutality victim Sidique Akbar
Police Brutality: One such case was uni student Sidique Akbar[20] who in 1989 was driving in Falkirk when a police car flagged him down for a ‘random stop’. In my interview with him, he disclosed that after asking why he’d been stopped, one of the officers replied the Pakistani 19-year-old, ‘fits a description of someone we’re looking for’. Sidique responded, ‘No way, I’m just back from the Cash & Carry’, pointing to the shopping in the back. The officer retorted, ‘less of the attitude’, before yanking Sidique out of his car, roughly pushing him against it and said, ‘you’re being a wideo’ i.e. a smart mouth. He then slammed Sidique to the ground, knocking out a tooth from his ‘smart mouth’. The dazed student was taken to the police station and detained for 6-hours, the time limit set to find evidence for more serious crimes like murder or assault (ironically). He was sat in a cell for 5 hours 59 minutes, just for the police to get off on the thrill of detaining the ‘wideo’ before being released without charge. Sidique filed a complaint about the incident, though a senior officer justified the brutality by saying Sid was ‘resisting arrest’.

Aamer Anwar after brutal police attack
Another such case was uni student Aamer Anwar[21] who back in 1991 was protesting discrimination at the Glasgow dental and medical school. Whilst flyposting to demand that, amongst other things, anonymous marking be adopted, two police officers raced towards him. Clearly rattled, Aamer ran from them but they caught up and pushed him down before twice smashing his face off the ground resulting in the loss of his front teeth. He also lost consciousness and was dragged into a more obscured side lane. As he came to, in intense pain and terrified for his life, he asked ‘Why?’ through his blood-filled mouth and tear-stained eyes. One officer responded, ‘this is what happens to Black boys with big mouths’, before they repeatedly kicked him in the face and stomach. If it wasn’t for a witness walking by seeing the attack and shouting for help, his uniformed assaulters would most likely have killed him rather than panic and take him to hospital as per their actual motto of ‘keeping people safe’. It took him 4 and a half years amid many more police intimidations to get his case to court where he finally won his civil action against them, making legal history.[22] Since that 1995 victory, he remains the only person in Scotland to win a case against the police for a racist attack, even though such abuse of power continued to remain common place…and none more notorious than 20 years later with the 2015 case of Sheku Bayoh[23]a 31-year-old Sierra Leonean gas engineer for British Gas in Kirkcaldy, Fife.

Sheku Bayoh, police fatally restraining him with excessive force
On the 3rd May 2015, police received reports of a Black man walking down a street ‘acting erratically’ and ‘carrying a knife’. Two police vans and five police cars were dispatched and on the arrival of the first car, Sheku who didn’t have a knife and hadn’t done anything wrong, unassumingly walked towards them palms up. Even though under the influence of drugs, he didn’t shout or scream and he didn’t attack them, in contrast to the trained police officers. Rather than trying to deescalate the ‘situation’, the first officer on the scene used his CS pepper spray and extended his baton as did the second officer before attacking Sheku. He was attacked once, attacked again, as more officers arrived, a third attacked him, then a fourth female officer attacked him. The female officer, Constable Nicole Short, later reported ‘she feared for her life’ despite having her baton out and contradictory to Sheku’s back being to her. Regardless, within 30-40 seconds of the first officers arriving, Sheku was face down on the ground, handcuffed and ankle-cuffed in leg restraints. Held in the prone position/restraint, there were up to 6 police officers on top of him, causing Sheku 54 separate injuries including lacerations across his body, head wounds and a fractured rib from being crushed under the weight of them all. Like US police murder victim George Floyd, Sheku Bayoh was a good partner, good father, loved by his community, and just like George Floyd, Sheku Bayoh uttered the words ‘I can’t breathe,’ to the police officers crushing his body before he lost consciousness within a few minutes and died.

After Sheku’s killing, a litany of dastardly deeds from the white Scottish establishment 
Sheku with his sons Isaac & Tyler
occurred. (1) The white Scottish police sent 2 officers to Sheku’s home to lie to his family saying he’d been killed by a member of the public. (2) The white Scottish police lied to the media & politicians, saying a Black man had used a weapon/knife on an officer and as a result of restraining him, he died, which was debunked within 24 hours. (3) The white Scottish in-house Criminal Investigation Department (CID) were in charge of the investigation, not allowing the Police Investigations & Review Commission to take control. This meant for 32 days after the incident, the 9 police officers involved in killing Sheku were allowed to sit together and ‘get their stories straight’ before giving an incident report to senior officers or independent investigators. (4) The white Scottish press perpetuated the police smear campaign to tarnish Sheku’s character, including the Scottish Police Federation’s then-chairman, Brian Docherty playing up the father-of-two’s supposed ‘aggression’, saying a ‘petite female police officer’ was subject to a ‘violent and unprovoked attack’ by a ‘large male’, with further descriptions of his supposed ‘bulging muscles’, whereas at least 3 of the 6 officers who crushed Sheku to death were taller and heavier than the 178cm, 81kg British Gas engineer. Similar character assassination tactics were used in the wake of the August 2011 killing of mixed-race Londoner Mark Duggan[24] when a photo of him at his daughter’s gravesite was cropped to reinterpret his unhappy expression as a ‘menacing scowl’. By casting Black victims of police brutality in a bad light, the police try to absolve themselves of wrongdoing against them, basically saying that, ‘this Black life did not matter’. And apparently it worked because (5) after a 3-and-a-half-year investigation, the white Scottish Lord Advocate James Wolffe QC, alongside Scotland’s then-Chief Prosecutor Michelle MacLeod of Edinburgh’s Crown Office, decided none of the police officers involved in killing Sheku would be suspended, sacked, charged, arrested or face trial.

Sheku's sisters, Kadijatu Johnson (front) and Adama Jalloh
with their lawyer Aamer Anwar after hearing no police charged
Representing Sheku’s family through this heinous ordeal has been Aamer Anwar, now a human rights lawyer himself all too familiar with deadly police brutality. He voiced the family’s ‘anger and disgust’ at the decision, with Sheku’s sister Kadijatu branding Police Scotland institutionally racist saying, ‘If he was a white man, [the police] wouldn't have used the excessive force they used with my brother.’ Her husband Ade adding Sheku's ethnicity is ‘the only thing preventing justice’. The truth is, no accountability for police who unlawfully kill Black people is commonplace throughout the UK[25] as well as over in the USA. The likelihood is that, had there been no video evidence of George Floyd’s police murder in Minneapolis, no charges would have been brought against the officers involved either. Otherwise, the last time UK police were charged and convicted for a racist killing was in 1969 for Nigerian tailor David Olúwálé[26]meaning the heinous miscarriage of justice regarding Sheku’s case was unfortunately not surprising. The family have demanded a public inquiry[27] which Scotland’s Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf MP has granted, though this can only deliver policy changes and a legacy like the Stephen Lawrence case[28]not actual justice. Sheku’s family are still pressing forwards where they can, suing Police Scotland in a civil action, as well as calling for an investigation into whether perjury was committed by now former police constables Nicole Short and Alan Paton, both contributing to brutality ending in fatality.

Police Racism towards BAME Officers 

Unrepresentative Scottish police force
Police Discrimination: One of the ways to root out institutional racism is to get more BAME people in the institution, and the current numbers of BAME police officers is not representative of the general population. The CRER said, ‘A lack of diversity in this respect is perhaps the most significant barrier for BAME communities in engaging with police services locally and nationally[29]hence the expectation of police apathy in addition to instances of police harassment and brutality. These low numbers however has been a historic issue as constable Leroy Alexander recounts being only one of 4 Black officers with Strathclyde Police in the early 1980s.[30] By 2006, this steadily climbed to approx. 80 locally and 185 across Scotland. Almost a decade later in 2015, this number was in worrying decline with ‘175 BAME officers out of more than 17,000 on the Police Scotland force, just 1%[31]which did not correlate with Scotland’s then population being 4% BAME, rising to 12% in large cities like Glasgow. What’s more, there were no top ranking BAME officers, with only 1 BAME superintendent and 1 chief inspector out of 446 senior officers, and 69 BAME staffers out of 5,963 in all.

Internal discrimination towards BAME officers
So why the low BAME numbers? One study revealed rampant racism in the force[32] with 69% of participants saying they’d experienced this from their police colleagues. This high number of incidents did not correlate with the small number of complaints submitted to senior officers, however like in so many other professions, there was ‘fear of backlash’ in doing so. This is not a farfetched concern as a National Police Chief’s Council (NPCC) report showed a racial disparity in police complaints & misconduct cases[33] revealing BAME officers were generally dealt with more severely than their white counterparts. This contributed to the feeling that all official efforts to ‘fight racism’ where tokenistic with no genuine dedication to eliminate the issue. This is backed up by the SPF saying, ‘Police Scotland was merely paying ‘lip service’ to the issue of ethnic minority recruitment.’[34] This is an astute observation as at one point there were various culturally insensitive proposals[35] that would affect Asian officers in particular such as ‘enforcing beard nets as well as a ban on face tattoos which precluded Hindi women who have a bindi dot on their forehead from joining the force.’ This possibly helps explain why there areno Police Scotland officers wearing the hijab as part of their uniform[36]perhaps recognising that, even though this provision for Muslim women was made in September 2016, their community isn’t truly welcomed on the force. With specific issues going unaddressed, even if new BAME officers and staff are hired, there is a huge turnover of them ‘leaving Police Scotland in high proportions,’[37] all of which adding to the family of Sheku Bayoh’s accurate assessment of institutional racism.

Knowing about true nature of Scottish policing, I wonder if Gloria Gaynor’s appreciation of Sgt Jon Harris smoothing tensions after the Waterloo bar brawl would still be as potent. After all, the tensions aren’t so soothed when it comes to Scotland’s ethnic minority communities, similar to those sweeping her own country across the pond, perhaps thinking a police encounter could ultimately have the opposite outcome of her song: ‘I won’t survive’.

Course of Action

So now we know of the racism against BAME people within Scottish policing, what can be done about it? Let’s break it down step by step.

Regarding police apathy, officers must stop ignoring BAME public complaints altogether, or inserting their own opinions whilst they are taking down the facts, thus reducing indirect complacency. According to MSP Anas Sarwar, to repair the current widespread perception, steps should be taken to reach out to ethnic minority communities and ensure that people have the confidence to report racism to the police,and see the police as partners, not opponents.[38] In this way, the public won’t think that reporting general crimes or specific hate crimes against them is a worthless endeavour, specifically with new ‘stirring up’ hate legislation introduced earlier in 2020.[39]

Director of Equality and Diversity UK, Alyson Malach
Regarding police harassment, there are various steps the force can take at various stages. Before joining the force, Leroy Alexander saysrecruits should undergo psychological testing to ‘assess them on a scale of normal reactions.’[40] The initiative is to avert the entry of racist officers, as well as those with ‘high levels of religious sectarianism, dishonesty or sexism.’ After joining the force, there needs to be more compulsory ongoing anti-bias training to reduce racial profiling and thus frivolous stop and searches as well as cases wasting the time and energy of police resources as well as the innocent BAME public. Organisations that provide this include Equality and Diversity UK[41]whose services include ‘coaching, mentoring, training, consultancy, facilitation and assessment’, often delivered in combination and always tailored to specific policing needs.

Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court and Justice of Peace Court
Regarding police brutality, again there needs to be more vigorous screening of mental suitability for policing, thus hiring those who will uphold the law against grievous bodily harm (GBH) rather than be prone to it and unjustly protected by their uniform. Whilst there is a police complaints structure in place[42]this was clearly not robust enough in the case of Sheku Bayoh. Specific lessons to be learnt from his killing include the force should discipline officers who lie about police culpability during death notifications as well as deceive the press about the facts of the case. Also, the Police Independent Review Commission should instantly take control of any cases where a police department has been involved in causing serious harm or death to a member of the public. Furthermore, the officers involved should be ordered not to have contact with each other so their accounts can be truthful, as well as interviewing them within days of the incident (versus 32 days) so their recollection is more accurate. Ultimately, rather than complain to the police about the police, there should be more neutral intermediary institutions the public can engage with. Since 1969, not a single officer has been convicted across the UK in connection to deaths in police custody.[43] Therefore, like in the David Olúwálé case, have officers who are charged appear in a court of law with a public jury[44] rather than closed-door deliberations within the ranks biased towards protecting their own, thus finding ‘no wrongdoing’.

BAME officers recruited through ITPP
Regarding police underrepresentation and internal discrimination, since 2017 Police Scotland have run various Introduction to Policing Programme (ITPP) weekends to attract more BAME recruits.[45] The events allow potential candidates to interact with police staff and enquire about BAME specific topics. The initiative headed by the Positive Action Team who also encourages more female applicants helped the 2017 Scottish Police College graduating parade to have 213 recruits, 10% of which were from a range of BAME communities.[46] Previous Commission for Racial Equality (now the Equality and Human Rights Commission: EHRC) head Alison Jarvis was insistent on a clarity between ‘positive discrimination - which is illegal - and positive action[47],’ with ITPPs falling into the latter. Though how to make sure these new police recruits are retained? For this, there have been several recommendations from theNational Equal Opportunities Training Strategy.[48] This includes adopting a mentoring programme for all new recruits; discouraging overexposure of BAME officers as a ‘prop’ for publicity purposes (with regard to equality issues); educating officers of the importance and necessity of BAME colleagues in the ranks; implementing a "zero tolerance" workplace to racist jokes and attitudes, regardless of the source; anti-racist training that covers not just service delivery to the outside community but also employee relations within the force; having a team rather than a single equality officer within Human Resources; and making diversity issues part of core competencies of officer appraisals.

Empowering Scottish BAME Communities

Whilst all these are steps in the right direction, there is currently still trepidation about approaching the authorities for assistance. BAME people’s worries are often valid as police brutality victim turned community advocate Sidique Akbar reports from his time working in Scottish local government. The race equality department he headed liaised with the local police, but soon realised there was no interest in real discourse. Rather than having any true commitment for the department’s remit to propose changes to root out racism; the wider council’s attitude was, ‘we give you money, so you better paint us in a good light no matter what.’ When Sid decided not to ‘play the game’ and continued producing truthful reports on the equalities deficit, his department ‘lost’ funding and was repackaged as an entity ‘not allowed to investigate the police’(!) Fortunately, there are organisations across the region run by ethnic minorities for ethnic minorities that can act as third-party intermediaries when it comes to hate crime reporting for example, providing more support on the route to justice. They include the West of Scotland Regional Equality Centre (WSREC)[49] in Glasgow; Strengthening Communities for Racial Equality (SCORE)[50] in Edinburgh; Grampian Racial Equality Council (GREC)[51] in Aberdeen; Fife Centre for Equalities[52] where Sidique in now based; and many more Scottish BAME organisations[53] providing community support services.

SEMPER support for Scottish BAME officers
There’s also assistance for BAME officers in the police service through and initiative called Supporting Ethnic Minority Police Employees for Equality in Race (SEMPER)[54]a play on words with Police Scotland’s other motto ‘semper vigilo’ meaning ‘always vigilant’. Formed in the wake of the McPherson Report on Stephen Lawrence’s death confirming police institutionalised racism, SEMPER’s mandates is to inspire ‘a diverse and inclusive workforce that fully represents the changing demographics of Scottish communities to underpin policing and criminal justice that are essential for a safe and secure society in a flourishing nation, ’ and also ensure that the Scottish Police Authority (SPA) and Police Scotland ‘uphold the principles and practices of racial equality’. Pioneering Black Strathclyde police officer Leroy Alexander, himself a former chairman of SEMPER, said the force has changed but there is alot further to go.[55]

Yes, Scotland has a long way to go before resolving its issues with racism in policing, and only with a concerted effort will progress be made.
~ by Abiọ́dún Ọlátòkunbọ̀ Abdul

[1] Gloria Gaynor praises Scottish police officer who performed her hit song after dealing with bar brawl (3rd June 2016)

[2] George Floyd: What happened in the final moments of his life

[3] ‘If Maurice Gordon was white, he’d still be alive’: Video of black motorist being shot six times by police released by attorney general’s office (9 June 2020)

[4] Black & Scottish, 2019 (22.30 mins in)

[6] Book exposes ‘fantasy’ that Scotland is less racist than rest of UK (8th May 2018)

[7] Revealed: We unmask thug pal of racist who attacked busker on TV show The Street (20 Feb 2014)
[8] Gang of 20 racist neds armed with crowbars and kitchen knife attack Edinburgh shopkeepers (25 Jan 2020)

     Racist gang hospitalises retailer (3 Feb 2020)

[9]  Book exposes ‘fantasy’ that Scotland is less racist than rest of UK (8th May 2018)

[10]  The Coalition for Racial Equality and Rights says Police Scotland suffers from “institutional racism” (21 Oct 2017)
[11] Gang of 20 racist neds armed with crowbars and kitchen knife attack Edinburgh shopkeepers (25 Jan 2020)
[12] The Coalition for Racial Equality and Rights says Police Scotland suffers from “institutional racism” (21 Oct 2017)
[13] The Coalition for Racial Equality and Rights says Police Scotland suffers from “institutional racism” (21 Oct 2017)

[14] Book exposes '˜fantasy' that Scotland is less racist than rest of UK (8th May 2018)

[15] Islamophobia: Muslim women’s experiences in Scotland

[16] VICTIMS SAY COPS 'RACIST' Just one in five Muslim victims of race hate crime in Scotland go to police - with some believing cops are ‘racist’ (29 Feb 2020)
    Tackling Islamophobia, Scottish Parliament

[18] Scottish people from Asian backgrounds FOUR times more likely to be searched by cops (6th March 2018)

[19] 'No institutional racism' in Police Scotland stop-search (7th March 2018)

[21] Aamer Anwar: How racism and police brutality shaped my life (7th June 2020)

[22] Aamer Anwar & Co, Solicitors and Notaries

[24] Carole Duggan interview: 'I'm not going away and they're not shutting me up' (28 Feb 2014)

[26] DAVID OLUWALE: The first victim of racist policing (17 April 2019)

[27] Sheku Bayoh: Sister Kadi Johnson brands Police Scotland institutionally racist (14 Nov 2019)

[28] Stephen Lawrence: timeline of key events (19th April 2018)
[29] The Coalition for Racial Equality and Rights says Police Scotland suffers from “institutional racism” (21 Oct 2017)
[30] ‘Racism is still in society, and that’s where police come from’;

    NEWS FOCUS: Forces come under scrutiny as officers face prejudice tests, Lucy Adams finds (26th September 2006)

[31] Police Scotland urged to act on lack of ethnic minorities in their ranks (5th Aug 2015)

    Why are there so few top black British police officers? (30th Jan 2013)

[32] The Experience of Black/Minority Ethnic Police Officers, Support Staff, Special Constables and Resigners In Scotland (6 June 2002)
[33] NPCC: Understanding Disproportionality in Police Complaint & Misconduct Cases for BAME Police Officers & Staff 2019

[34] Number of Black and Asian police officers ‘woeful’ (6th Aug 2015)

    Number of black police officers ‘barely increased’ since 2007 (28th Jan 2020)

    Police workforce - GOV.UK Ethnicity facts and figures

    BAME women in the police: 'There aren't many women of colour' (24th Oct 2019)

[35] Number of Black and Asian police officers ‘woeful’ (6th Aug 2015)

[36] No Police Scotland officers are wearing hijab (29th December 2016)

[37] The Coalition for Racial Equality and Rights says Police Scotland suffers from “institutional racism” (21st Oct 2017)
[38] VICTIMS SAY COPS 'RACIST' Just one in five Muslim victims of race hate crime in Scotland go to police - with some believing cops are ‘racist’ (29th Feb 2020)

[39] New 'stirring up' hate crime legislation put forward (24th April 2020)

[40] ‘Racism is still in society, and that’s where police come from’;

    NEWS FOCUS: Forces come under scrutiny as officers face prejudice tests, Lucy Adams finds (26th Sept 2006)

[41] Equality and Diversity UK

[42] Complain about the police (7th Nov 2019)

[43] The UK is Not Innocent – Police Racism Has a Long and Violent History Here Too (1st June 2020)

[44] David Oluwale's death in 1969 helped 'reshape Leeds' (19th April 2019)

[46] The Coalition for Racial Equality and Rights says Police Scotland suffers from “institutional racism” (21 Oct 2017)

    Police Scotland celebrates country’s top officers and staff (30 January 2018)

[47] ‘Racism is still in society, and that’s where police come from’;

    NEWS FOCUS: Forces come under scrutiny as officers face prejudice tests, Lucy Adams finds (26th September 2006)

[48] The Experience of Black/Minority Ethnic Police Officers, Support Staff, Special Constables and Resigners In Scotland (6 June 2002)
[49] West of Scotland Regional Equality Centre (WSREC)
[50]  Strengthening Communities for Racial Equality (SCORE)
[52] Fife Centre for Equalities
[53] West of Scotland Regional Equality Centre (WSREC) Affiliates

    Minority Ethnic Carers of People Project (MECOPP) Regional Links

[54] Supporting Ethnic Minority Police employees for Equality in Race (SEMPER) Scotland
[55] ‘Racism is still in society, and that’s where police come from’;

    NEWS FOCUS: Forces come under scrutiny as officers face prejudice tests, Lucy Adams finds (26th September 2006)

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Scottish Racism in Employment

Model Eunice  Olúmidé , Scout Scottie Brannan ‘The way the media presents and packages Scotland to the world is as if it’s a completely whit...