In the last five years there has been a trebling of racism claims among officers of the Metropolitan Police, according to a Freedom of Information request.

Allegations of internal racism have gone up from 16 in 2006/07 to 42 last year – however, in the two previous years there were 23 such complaints, showing a marked increase in 12 months.

As for dealing with the public, 20011/12 saw the Met receive 444 allegations from citizens of racist behaviour. In 2008/09 the figure was 750.

Superintendent Leroy Logan of the Black Police Association was quoted as saying that internal racism in the Met was a growing, serious issue and the force needed to “get a grip”, which it had failed to do over the last few years.

However, the Met Commander Peter Spindler said: “The increase seen reflects the growing confidence of our staff in reporting internal matters that we deal with through our misconduct proceedings. These do not arise from public complaints but from staff feeling sufficiently confident to report these issues themselves.”