From Times Online
October 8, 2008Police talks over ethnic community recruitment boycott break down
Adam Fresco, Crime Correspondent
The Black Police Association is refusing to hold any further talks with the Met’s new leadership about a planned ethnic community boycott of the force after an initial meeting ended in rancour.
Discussions between the two groups broke down on Tuesday after allegations that “inappropriate language” was used by a senior Scotland Yard official.
The meeting is said to have gone downhill after Martin Tiplady, the Met’s Director of Human Resources, used the phrase “you people” while he was trying to broker a working agreement with the BPA.
Sir Paul Stephenson, the Deputy Commissioner, who is the acting head of the Met after Sir Ian Blair was ousted last week, had called the emergency meeting to try and resolve issues and stop the boycott from taking place.
But a senior source at the BPA told The Times today that “everything has broken down - a complete disengagement has taken place”.
The source added: “The person was confronted about his language and everything then broke down. We will not talk to the acting commissioner or engage with him.”
The BPA has claimed that, despite its new leadership, the Met was marked by “a hostile atmosphere where racism is allowed to spread”.
Senior members of the BPA met on Tuesday night after the Met talks and said they felt they were being “coerced and pressured” into stopping their boycott.
A letter is expected to be in the Deputy Commissioner’s in-tray tomorrow morning informing him of the BPA’s decision. The association said it will now only talk to the inquiry being set up by Boris Johnson, the mayor of London, to investigate alleged racism inside the force.
In the letter to Mr Stephenson the BPA say that it will not meet him “in any shape or form”.
A senior source at the BPA told The Times: “We are saying ’we do not want to meet or have any sort of negotiations with you in any shape or form. The boycott stands and the advertisements will go out.”
The source added: “We will not meet or negotiate with the Met because there is a lot of pressure being put on us to remove the boycott, trying to coerce us. We will give our submissions to the inquiry being set up by Boris Johnson.
“Mr Stephenson will be put on notice today of what is happening by way of a letter.”
A spokeswoman for the Metropolitan police said: “The MPS can confirm that a meeting took place on Tuesday 7 October at our invitation, as we are keen to seek a way forward in relation to any concerns raised by the MBPA. As is normal, detailed minutes were taken and for clarification, the Director of Human Resources, Martin Tiplady said: “With or without an Inquiry, let's work with you people to make it (the MPS) a better organisation and return to normality.” Clearly no offence was intended by this statement and merely referred to the working relationship between the MPS and the Association. We are intent that we continue to make efforts to see a way forward with cool heads, appropriate language and cooperation.”
On Sunday, the BPA attacked both the senior management of the Met and the Metropolitan Police Association, now chaired by Mr Johnson, for not doing enough to stop racism and for not protecting its members. The association told the Times that it will take out a series of adverts in the national press during Black History Month warning any potential black or Asian recruits not to join the Met .
Mr Stephenson recently told Assistant Commissioner Tarique Ghaffur, who has accused the organisation of racism, to “shut up” and get on with his job after the force’s most senior Asian officer held a press conference to publicise his intention to pursue an employment tribunal.
A spokesman for the BPA said: “We will not put up or shut up to racism and inequality.”
Police talks over ethnic community recruitment boycott break down
Edited by KeepFlame, 14 October 2008 - 12:23 PM.