London, January 29, 1999
Police chief lauds co-operation of community
New Scotland Yard force leads fight on racist crime
BY BERNARD JOSEPHS
PRAISE FOR the Jewish community's efforts to counter the threat of racist attacks has come from the head of Scotland Yard's new anti-racism task force, Deputy Assistant Commissioner John Grieve.
The officer -- until recently commander of the anti-terrorism squad -- pledged to make London a "hostile environment" for bigots.
"I've locked up terrorists, murderers and armed robbers. Now I am dedicated to locking up racists," he announced as he and his squad were introduced at a New Scotland Yard press conference.
Mr Grieve -- who headed the team which hunted the 1994 Israeli embassy bombers -- remarked that down the years, Jews had suffered from racism in ways similar to that currently faced by other ethnic groups.
In response, the Jewish community "looked at how they could protect themselves and came to us with a plan for what today is the Community Security Trust."
Co-operation with the CST had garnered valuable intelligence on extremist groups.
Mr Grieve pointed out that the trust was now holding discussions with other minority groups -- in particular, the Hindus -- and this liaison was bearing fruit.
Since the summer, there had been an upsurge in the number of suspected racists arrested.
He promised a "grand-scale" Scotland Yard campaign against racism, with £300,000 earmarked for a publicity effort this year. "We are not just going through the motions," he declared. "We will target racists as seriously as we target terrorists."
He added that his squad would also crack down on racist attitudes within the force.
"If a police officer displays racist attitudes then he is corrupt, for racism is itself a form of corruption," he declared.
MI5 act to smash race gangs
Secret service teams up with Yard to combat Far Right thugs
EXCLUSIVE BY HAL AUSTIN AND IAN GALLAGHER
SCOTLAND Yard and MI5 are planning a huge covert operation to break up violent racist organisations. The Express has learned that Intelligence officers will infiltrate Far Right groups such as the British National Party.
Other officers will tap telephones, open mail, and scrutinise bank accounts and medical records. "We plan to close down these organisations by using every administrative device available to us," said a Yard source.
"These may include tax and VAT details, local authority planning infringements and breaches of charity regulations. You must remember that Al Capone was brought down by the American Inland Revenue -- not the FBI. At the end of the day we will know everything about the people in these groups, more than they know themselves."
The operation is being masterminded by Deputy Assistant Commissioner John Grieve, head of the new Metropolitan Police race crime unit. He will work closely with the security services and the Yard's criminal intelligence unit.
Officers plan to apply the skills successfully used by the security services and the anti-terrorist squad against the IRA and Middle East bombers In London.
Mr Grieve, former head of the anti-terrorist squad, is aiming to build comprehensive computer files on the country's active racists and their relatives and associates.
"He will be using all his skills and techniques used against the IRA in the fight against the racial terrorists polluting our inner cities," said the source.
The files will detail racist groups' views and the extent to which they will use violence. It will also include a list of non-active supporters in key Government and local authority departments who are prepared to pass on vital information. The ultimate intention is to bring a series of criminal charges against the ringleaders of racist organisations and the thugs who follow them.
"If it works, and there is no reason why not, it will mark a sea change in the way subversive organisations are policed in this country," said a senior detective.
Mr Grieve will draw on the resources of the National Criminal Intelligence Service, Department of Social Security, Inland Revenue, immigration organisation and Customs. Benefits agencies, local authorities, British Telecom, credit agencies, schools and other educational institutions will also be involved. Detectives will monitor some suspects if they go abroad.
"If anyone can get to the bottom of the menace of racial violence and attacks, then John Grieve can," said a source close to the new unit.