"If I go to the airport, I usually get stopped" reveals officer in charge of Northamptonshire Police stop and search

Superintendent's tale of how hate crime experience persuaded him to join the Force

By Kevin Nicholls
Tuesday, 13th October 2020, 2:51 pm
Updated Wednesday, 14th October 2020, 8:22 am

One of Northamptonshire's top police officers revealed he was once accused of kidnapping his OWN SON because of the colour of his skin.

Superintendent Dennis Murray was confronted and thrown to the floor while passing through the port of Harwich on his way home from the Netherlands.

Supt Murray, who grew up in Corby and has an Asian background, is policing commander for the north of the county and the Force’s lead on stop and search powers.

He is due to join British Transport Police as their 'champion for race' after 28 years with the Northamptonshire Force.

But in an interview to coincide with Hate Crime Awareness Week, Supt Murray admitted: "If i go to the airport, I usually always get stopped.

"When I came through the port of Harwich with my son — who is white — there was information that somebody from a Muslim background had kidnapped their son in Holland so I was detained and thrown to the floor. I had to point out I was a serving police officer but I still got no apology, I didn't get dusted down or told to go on my way wisely, any of the stop and search stuff.

"That was ten years ago, so not that long ago. I think we’re in a very different place now but we’re not there yet, which is why representation is really important in the force.

Supt Murray spoke in a candid interview as part of Hate Crime Awareness Week

"The way to change this is to get on the inside and influence policy.”

Supt Murray revealed he joined the Police after experiencing hate crime for himself in the 1960s hoping he could.

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The force has committed to dealing with hate crime and recent survey results indicate that satisfaction levels for victims of hate crime with the level of service they received has improved from 60 per cent in 2018 to 76.9 per cent in 2020.

Supt Murray is leaving Northamptonshire to join British Transport Police as their 'champion for race'

A tailor-made programme has recently been developed in conjunction with Voice – the support service for victims — giving victims the chance to speak with their offenders and explain the real impact of the crime, empowering them with a voice. It also seeks to hold offenders to account, take responsibility and make amends.

■ Anyone who has been a victim of crime is encouraged to report it to the police on 101.

■ For people interested in joining Northamptonshire Police to make a real difference to the organisation and help tackle issues of hate crime and others, visit www.northants.police.uk/policeofficer