Disclosure Details

Racism - 190/17

Dated: 20 Mar 2017

Provision of information held by Northumbria Police made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the 'Act') 

Thank you for your e mail dated 18 February 2017 in which you made a request for access to certain information which may be held by Northumbria Police. 

As you may be aware the purpose of the Act is to allow a general right of access to information held at the time of a request, by a Public Authority (including the Police), subject to certain limitations and exemptions. 

You asked:

1. How many complaints of racism has your force received by (a) an alleged victim (b) a fellow police officer, or (c) a third party in respect of racist comments or behaviour by a member of your force? Please give figures for each of the last three calendar years?

2. How many officers have been disciplined as a result of complaints of racism and what was the result of that disciplinary action?

3. In relation to the last five incidents which fell within the remit of Q2 please state any words or phrases that were deemed to have been racist.


We have now had the opportunity to fully consider your request and I provide a response for your attention. 

Following receipt of your request, searches were conducted with the Professional Standards Department of Northumbria Police. I can confirm that the information you have requested is held by Northumbria Police.

I am able to disclose the located information to you as follows. 

The following information has been extracted froma ‘live’ database and may be subject to the addition and deletion of complaints, complainants and subjects after the initial extraction of data used for the purposes of this request.

Data has been checked for allegations recorded between 01/04/2014 to 31/12/2016 for complaint and conduct matters relating to racist complaints or behaviour by Police Officers.   

All allegations recorded under the allegation type "discriminatory behaviour" were checked as well as any allegation summaries that included the words ‘racism’, ‘racist’, ‘racial’, ‘race’ and ‘ethnic’.  Each case file was then read to determine the words or phrases used that were deemed to have been racist.


There were 56 allegations relating to racist behaviour by a member of the force within the date range 01/04/2014 to 31/12/2016. 50 complaints were made by the victim, none by a fellow police officer and 6 by a third party.

2014: 10 allegations

2015: 24 allegations

2016: 19 allegations 

2. In relation to the finalised cases none of the officers accused of racist behaviour were disciplined as the allegations investigated were not upheld. 

There are currently 7 ‘live’ cases which have not been finalised and are included in the 56 allegations figure. 

3 N/a. 

Due to the different methods of recording information across 43 forces, a specific response from one constabulary should not be seen as an indication of what information could be supplied (within cost) by another.  Systems used for recording these figures are not generic, nor are the procedures used locally in capturing the data.  For this reason responses between forces may differ, and should not be used for comparative purposes. 

The information we have supplied to you is likely to contain intellectual property rights of Northumbria Police.  Your use of the information must be strictly in accordance with the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 (as amended) or such other applicable legislation.  In particular, you must not re-use this information for any commercial purpose.