35 investigations into racially aggravated crimes have been launched by the military police over 5 years.
The Guardian made a Freedom of Information act inquiry to obtain this figure which covers crimes conducted in the royal army, navy and air force.
Emma Norton, a lawyer and head of legal casework at human rights group Liberty, had this to say:
“We also know that many people don’t even report this kind of problem in the first place for fear that it may harm their career. So there are likely to be large numbers of affected people who are suffering in silence.”
Norton also stated that it was already known that there are disproportionate numbers of BAME service personnel who made complaints about allegations of bullying, harassment and discrimination. BAME personnel make up 7% of the armed forces, yet account for 13% of complaints.
This issue comes at a problematic time for the armed forces as they are having a recruitment crisis. They have been running high profile campaigns in the hopes to recruit more people from a diversity of genders, ethnicities, sexualities and faiths.
However, the major concern is about what happens after these investigations. Unlike civilian police forces, the armed police forces do not charge suspects.
What can the military do to recruit more BAME personnel? And what can be done to prevent discrimination against them?
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