UK's first black cop rubbishes ethnic recruit boycott call

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London, Oct.7 : Britain's first black cop has rubbished a move by the National Black Police Association to prevent the recruitment of ethnic minorities in the Metropolitan police force via a boycott. Norwell Roberts warned the NBPA that such a "drastic" decision may "bite them in the bum".

The ex-detective sergeant who spent 30 years in the Met after joining in 1967, said: Taking such drastic action will be counter-productive. "I have always found that the way to deal with racism - and I can assure you that no one had to suffer from it more than I did - is from the inside."

But he admitted that the Met BPA might have good grounds to make its call.

Norwell, 62, the first black officer to win the Queen's Police Medal, was quoted by The Sun as saying: "I had to put up with a lot. Buttons were ripped off my uniform and I had cups of tea and bananas thrown at me and my sergeant called me n*****. I used to go home and cry because I could not tell anybody about it. Things got better but I still had personal battles up to the day I left." "By then I had learned to deal with it, but I won the respect of people I worked with." orwell added:

"I would hope that if there is any ethnic person wishing to join the Met, and they are of the right calibre, then they should be persuaded to join," he said.

The Met BPA will be advertising in newspapers urging ethnic people not to join.

It cites a "hostile atmosphere where racism is allowed to spread".

It is angry at the recent suspension of Commander Ali Dizaei, the president of the National BPA - while Assistant Commissioner Tarique Ghaffur has been sent on "gardening leave".

London Mayor Boris Johnson has ordered an inquiry into race and religious values in the force.

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