London, Aug.30 : London's Metropolitan Police force is now facing an influx of racism claims following the controversy surrounding the case of its senior-most Asian-origin officer Tarique Ghaffur.
According to The Telegraph, the Metropolitan Police has seen a series of embarrassing cases of ethnic minority officers who claim their careers were held back out of racism.
Assistant Commissioner Tarique Ghaffur, the third highest ranking officer of the force, went public on Thursday by threatening to file a suit against Commissioner Sir Ian Blair for repeated acts of racial, religious and age discrimination.
Black police leaders and employment lawyers say the alleged discrimination against Ghaffur is not an isolated case but that racism remains widespread in the Metropolitan Police and across the country.
They claim the number of claims filed against the Metropolitan Police has doubled in the past year, with police staff encouraged to come forward by a string of high-profile challenges.
With Scotland Yard responsible for protecting the country from terrorism, policing the capital and protecting the Government and Royal Family, there are now heightened concerns that the dispute with Ghaffur and those that follow his lead will leave the force in a state of near paralysis.
Alfred John, chairman of the Metropolitan Police Black Police Association, said members had reported some "shocking" cases of discrimination that suggested little has changed in the force since the Macpherson report into the force's handling of the Stephen Lawrence murder accused it and the police generally of "institutional racism".
He said that an increasing awareness of racism meant discrimination is more subtle and cases tended to relate more to ethnic minority officers encountering "glass ceilings".
He insisted that most complainants' grievances were genuine
Before Ghaffur launched his claim, Detective Sergeant Gurpal Virdi was awarded 70,400 pounds in damages by a tribunal after being passed over for promotion because of racial discrimination, and a tribunal is currently preparing its judgment in the case of Commander Shabir Hussain, who alleged that Sir Ian Blair surrounded himself by a "golden circle" of handpicked, white favourites.
Ghaffur's solicitor, Shahrokh Mireskandari, said that one of the cases submitted recently relates to a Muslim police chef who was allegedly suspended for refusing to cook pork.
The paper requested figures from the Metropolitan Police detailing the number of complaints filed on the grounds of race discrimination but the force failed to respond.