THE Metropolitan Police have said they cannot put a timescale on an investigation into a racism review at Cleveland Police.

A spokesman for the Met said officers involved in Operation Talon were conducting a "thorough" investigation and could not say when the inquiry was expected to end.

Cleveland Police appointed the Met to investigate after complaints to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) about an internal Equality Review which looked at racism in the Force.

Critics said the final version of the report had been watered down after the first version threw up some serious incidents of racism towards black and ethnic minority officers. The report has never been published publicly.

A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police said: "Detectives are conducting the inquiries into the allegations as expeditiously as possible but are committed to doing so as thoroughly as possible and therefore it would be inappropriate to speculate on a time frame at this stage of the investigation."

Earlier this month Franstine Jones, head of the National Black Police Association, said she had raised serious concerns about alleged racism at Cleveland with the IPCC.