Pair removed after Police Scotland race row investigation

A police watchdog commissioner has stepped down and a member of staff has been suspended while Police Scotland investigates criminal allegations around a case in which three police officers were accused of racially discriminating against a black firefighter.

Jennifer Izekor stepped aside after Police Scotland began inquiry. Picture: Ken McKay/ITV/REX/Shutterstock
Jennifer Izekor stepped aside after Police Scotland began inquiry. Picture: Ken McKay/ITV/REX/Shutterstock

Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) commissioner Jennifer Izekor stepped aside after Police Scotland started an investigation into the allegations last week.

An investigator has also been suspended while the Scottish force looks into the case. The IPCC and Police Scotland refused to comment on why the pair had been removed from their positions “in the last few days” – although both are still being paid – but the watchdog said neither was over issues of “integrity”.

Sign up to our Politics newsletter

The IPCC also said it and Ms Izekor had “agreed” that she should step away from her duties while the investigation is carried out.

The commissioner was not suspended as she is a public appointee rather than an IPCC employee, the watchdog said.

It also refused to name the investigator who has been suspended.

An IPCC spokesman said: “On February 28, we became aware that, at the request of the Metropolitan Police Service, Police Scotland was launching an investigation linked to those allegations. Police Scotland has provided us with information about the remit of its investigation.

“In the circumstances IPCC commissioner Jennifer Izekor has stood down from her duties as commissioner for the duration of the investigation.

“Also, an investigator has been suspended until the investigation is concluded.

“These actions do not indicate concerns about the integrity of the individuals involved but are a necessary step in these circumstances.

“The IPCC will be fully co-operating with Police Scotland.”

Police Scotland is investigating the handling of a case in which three officers, Inspector Sutinderjit Mahi and PCs Daniel Roberts and Mark Gatland, made official allegations to Scotland Yard over the IPCC probe into their treatment of Edric Kennedy-Macfoy. Mr Kennedy-Macfoy was helping officers to identify a teenager who had thrown a rock at a police van in Harrow, north London, in September 2011 when he was Tasered and arrested.

He was later cleared in court of obstructing police and received damages from the Metropolitan Police.