Police reveal scores of racism complaints aimed at Camden officers as Skins actor sues force for £50,000
- Credit: PA Archive/Press Association Images
An award-winning actor who has accused police of “racially stereotyping” him is one of scores who have made similar complaints against Camden Police in recent years, the Ham&High can reveal.
Daniel Kaluuya, 24, a former pupil of St Aloysius College in Hornsey Lane, Highgate, is suing the Metropolitan Police over the actions of Camden officers who wrongly suspected him of being a drug dealer, it emerged this week.
The actor, who starred alongside Rowan Atkinson in the movie Johnny English Reborn and is known for his role in hit teen drama Skins, has lodged a claim with the High Court for up to £50,000 in damages, saying police were physically violent and that he was singled out because of his race.
He says he was pinned to the ground, handcuffed, had his feet tied-up and was kneed in the back, neck and head by “aggressive” officers in Camden Town in January 2010, before being strip-searched at Kentish Town police station in Holmes Road.
His solicitors say he was then subjected to a “malicious prosecution”, which was ultimately dropped by the Crown Prosecution Service, with costs awarded to the actor, who lives in Camden Town.
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Following a Freedom of Information request, Scotland Yard has revealed that this was one of 77 complaints against police officers in Camden between January 1, 2010, and June 1, 2013. By comparison, there were 54 complaints in Haringey in the same period.
Many relate to similar complaints that individuals were subjected to “stop and search” tactics because of their race.
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Cllr Abdul Hai, Camden Council’s cabinet member for community safety, highlighted this issue, and said: “Making sure stop and search is done in a way that doesn’t undermine individuals and doesn’t humiliate people, and making sure there are safeguards in place, is really important.
“It should be based on intelligence and reasonable grounds. If people are saying they were stopped and searched because of their colour, that’s shocking.”
He added: “We need to make sure we eradicate racism, but it’s not just an issue for the police, and I think our police colleagues have made significant strides forward.”
The figures show a slight rising trend in the numbers of complaints, with 18 in 2010, 26 in 2011 and 22 in 2012.
Of the 77 complaints, the police decided that no action should be taken or that there was no case to answer in 57 cases.
These included another man saying he was “singled out” for being black, several others claiming they were stopped because of their race, and one man allegedly being told to “go back to Australia” by officers.
Twelve incidents are awaiting an outcome, including allegations that officers called a man a “noisy black c**t”, said another man was “driving like he was in Somalia”, and said a woman was a criminal because she had money and was black.
The final eight cases led to what is termed a “local resolution” by police, where the allegation has been resolved with the claimant, which may mean an apology was given.
In addition to the 77 complaints from the public, one officer received a final written warning after making “derogatory comments” when discussing a PCSO with colleagues.
Camden Police did not respond to requests for an interview or comment.