A racist Welsh cop who dressed in a Ku Klux Klan-style hood and threatened to beat up a rookie Asian officer may get away with it because of a legal loophole.
Ex-North Wales Police trainee Pc Rob Pulling’s racist outburst was caught on camera in a BBC documentary.
The Secret Policeman showed officers and probationers from North Wales, Cheshire and Greater Manchester making racist jokes and remarks. All have since resigned.
Rob Pulling could now face charges of inciting racial hatred, but a time limit on the offence may mean the charges could be dropped.
Greater Manchester Police’s Chief Constable Michael Todd, who is leading the investigation, has warned some of the former officers could escape criminal prosecution because of the time which had already elapsed between the filming of the documentary and its screening.
The news has angered the National Black Police Association who say the officers should not be able to get away scott-free.
BBC reporter Mark Daly went undercover as a trainee to film the officers at Bruche Training School, near Warrington.
The Welsh policeman was caught on camera mimicking the US white supremacist cult as he made inflammatory remarks about an Asian colleague.
He was videoed saying: “He’ll regret the day he was ever born a P***.”
When asked by the reporter what his aim is, the officer replies: “To eradicate the whole f***ing country of people like him.”
The reporter was arrested in August on suspicion of obtaining pecuniary interest by deception. The police recently announced they would not be pressing charges against him.
The BBC refused to hand over a copy of the evidence Daly had gathered before the documentary was screened – which meant police were unable to begin a criminal investigation into the racist police officers.
Mr Todd said: “We are looking still at criminal offences and will decide whether any should face criminal charges.
“There are problems with that because the offence would be incitement to racial hatred which has a six-month limitation.
“Because of the length of time before the broadcast, unfortunately in many cases that time will have lapsed. The legislation states also that the behaviour has to be in a public place, whereas in many cases in the documentary, things were said in people’s rooms.
“We are still going through about 150 hours of unused footage.”
The footage was given to the police after the programme was broadcast last month.
But President of the National Black Police Association Ray Powell said there are other charges which could be brought against the officers.
He said: “There are other offences as well that I hope will be considered, such as misconduct in a public office, which is an offence which is very broad and far-reaching. I would like them to look at this offence because I would suggest the actions of the officers were calculated to injure public interest.
“This offence is both common law and indictable and has no time limit. Their actions have brought the police service into disrepute. They held a public office, and they held that office at the time of the offence.”
North Wales Police said it was unable to comment.