Racial quotas for Met police?


by Sunny
19th April, 2007 at 4:52 pm    

The London Metropolitan Police has a problem. In a city which is now nearly 4030% non-white, out of their 31,000 employees, only about 7% are of ethnic minority backgrounds. Only in certain cases do I believe that employees of particular industries or sectors need to ‘represent’ the people they serve on race and gender lines. Along with media and politics, the police is definitely another. I’m sure our readers will have a vigorous debate on whether representation is actually necessary anyway, but I believe it is.

In order to rectify this situation, the police is now actively discussing and debating positive discrimination and ethnic quotas (via pommygranate). Now to be honest I don’t think many ethnic minorities will want to be recruited on the basis of their colour rather than merit, so this is not really up for discussion. The point is, if the police do not adopt such quotas, what else could they be doing?

For a start they could review why they run long and expensive vendettas against senior officers they don’t like? They could review why brilliant senior officers keep getting passed over for promotion? Maybe the Met police could be more open about what it’s doing to tackle racism within the police?

I get the feeling such racial quotas will only increase resentment within the force. What is needed here is a wholesale review and a change in the internal culture.


              Post to del.icio.us


Filed in: Race politics






71 Comments below   |  

Reactions: Twitter, blogs


  1. Kismet Hardy — on 19th April, 2007 at 5:11 pm  

    AMIR! AMIR! AMIR! AMIR! AMIR! AMIR! AMIR! AMIR! AMIR! AMIR! AMIR!

  2. Don — on 19th April, 2007 at 5:12 pm  

    Quotas are not a sensible response to the situation, even if they do not result in lowering standards or rejecting qualified applicants, they will certainly be perceived as doing so. And, as Sunny pointed out, not many people relish the idea that they only got their job through a quota system.

    However, a requirement that the police take at least some of the responsibility for why so few people from ethnic minorities see the force as a viable career, and get their act together, is not unreasonable.

    If they want to encourage high quality applicants from the ethnic minorities then the shouldn’t be looking at quotas (or fancy PR campaigns) but at honestly looking at why there are so few.

    By the way, while London may be 40% non-white (really?) how many are even potential candidates, in terms of legal status, age, language skills etc?

  3. Kismet Hardy — on 19th April, 2007 at 5:16 pm  

    Just as all the short, weedy nerdy police-wannabe failures got given the flourescent uniform that make them look like proper coppers patrolling the stations in the aftermath of the bombings, I bet there’ll be loads of geeky freshies (who now all work as London Paper/Evening Lite peddlars) will be given the same uniform once the smoking ban comes into place. You watch. After the success of call centres, the top bods have realised Asian workers are used to hearing ‘fuck off’ on a regular basis

  4. ZinZin — on 19th April, 2007 at 5:33 pm  

    Kismet post 1
    LOL

    Seriously though do racial quotas matter? and don’t the Met and other police forces have trouble filling their racial quotas? Everyone wants the police to have its full quota of officers regardless of knacker of the yards race.

  5. sonia — on 19th April, 2007 at 5:49 pm  

    don – good questions.

    perhaps more money would encourage a lot more police officers.

  6. Chairwoman — on 19th April, 2007 at 6:06 pm  

    This is a 2-way street.

    Not only do the police need put their house in order, but we must stop thinking that the police is not a suitable career for our people.

    When I was younger, Jewish people would say ‘The Police? What sort of job is that for a Jewish boy?’, and I’m sure they still do.

    I would be surprised if something similar isn’t said in Asian and Black circles.

    But positive discrimination? sorry, but I’m offended by it. Were I a a Police Officer I’d hate to be in the job only because of my ethnicity, and as a consumer, I don’t want the police to be even more second rate than they are today.

  7. Roger — on 19th April, 2007 at 6:14 pm  

    As London is about a third non-British, perhaps they ought to something about the number of foreigners in the police. Do the number of criminals in the Met reflect the number of criminals in London as a whole? Are there a reasonable proportion of alcoholics or drug addicts?
    Another possibility is to adopt a policy of dispersing refugees and immigrants receiving help from public funds to other parts of the UK, thereby reducing the number of non-white and non-British-born inhabitants in London. It might also reduce racist attitudes; one reason is the shortage of housing and the price of housing in London and South East England especially and the fact that refugees and immigrants are helped to settle in London and given high prority on housing lists- effectively subsidised by more than a hundred thousand quid per person- increases the hostility felt.

  8. leon — on 19th April, 2007 at 6:34 pm  

    Not only do the police need put their house in order, but we must stop thinking that the police is not a suitable career for our people.

    I see your point but with over a 1000 dead in police custody over the last thirty years and institutional racism at work you can see why we tend to stay clear.

    The police have a great deal more to do if they want to convince us we have a viable place amongst their ranks (career progression, no racial harassment).

  9. soru — on 19th April, 2007 at 6:35 pm  

    now nearly 40% non-white

    I suspect that may be a mis-remembered statistic. The 2001 census said:

    29% non-white
    40% non-’White British’

    The balance being Irish, Poles, French, etc.

    A 2006 survey said:

    31% ‘foreign born’.

  10. Robert — on 19th April, 2007 at 6:41 pm  

    how many are even potential candidates, in terms of legal status, age, language skills etc?

    Isn’t class the factor here? From what socio-economic group are police officers recruited? Predominantly middle-class, I assume. What are the non-white proportions in that group? Less than the 40% quoted, I’ll bet.

  11. Roger — on 19th April, 2007 at 6:47 pm  

    “over a 1000 dead in police custody over the last thirty years”
    Over a thousand too many, I agree, but less than forty a year for the whole UK and this covers deaths from all reasons.
    Presumably not many of the dead were police officers so that isn’t actually a raeson not to join the police force, and an increase in the variety of serving police officers would help to change the attitudes of the force as a whole. The police may have to convince people they ” have a viable place amongst their ranks “; however it might be a good idea to force the more recalcitrant police officers that they have no choice in the matter.

  12. Kulvinder — on 19th April, 2007 at 7:11 pm  

    I’m ambivalent about the whole thing. Normally id say discrimination would be a bad thing, but i’ve also agreed with arguments i’ve read that point out the most authoritarian organs of government should directly reflect public demographics.

    This basically comes down to what you see the police as being, representatives of the public or enforcers of the government. People who tend to take the former view also tend to agree with quotas, those that sympathise with the latter tend to think paying attention to demographics is pointless.

    Broadly id favour anything that makes the job of the police more difficult. If more internal conflict will be caused by bringing in quotas im all for them, if alienation with the police is increased by avoiding quotas im happy.

  13. Kulvinder — on 19th April, 2007 at 7:14 pm  

    Not only do the police need put their house in order, but we must stop thinking that the police is not a suitable career for our people.

    I’d find it pretty difficult to empathise with anyone who was a pig regardless of their ethnicity or gender.

  14. Don — on 19th April, 2007 at 7:37 pm  

    Kulvinder,

    #12, para 2; based on what?

    #13,; juvenile. Do people still say ‘pigs’?

  15. Rumbold — on 19th April, 2007 at 7:44 pm  

    Sunny: “Only in certain cases do I believe that employees of particular industries or sectors need to ‘represent’ the people they serve on race and gender lines. Along with media and politics, the police is definitely another.” -Who do you represent? I thought that you had built a career challenging this type of pigeon-holing?

    If the police exceeded the proposed quotas, imagine the furore if they then said that they had to recruit more white men as a proportion of the force.

    Ali Dizai oversees the Borough of Hounslow. Why would he want to leave?

  16. Kulvinder — on 19th April, 2007 at 7:56 pm  

    #12, para 2; based on what?

    Observations, anecdotal evidence; i’m not really sure what you want me to say. I haven’t got a study to hand which is why i put in ‘tend’

    #13,; juvenile. Do people still say ‘pigs’?

    Yes.

  17. Katy Newton — on 19th April, 2007 at 7:59 pm  

    Oh look, it’s Ramiie, king of the trolls. My day is complete.

  18. Katy Newton — on 19th April, 2007 at 8:00 pm  

    It’s OK for whites to discriminate positively in favour of whites in 80 percent of job interviews up and down the country where an equally capable black is up against an equally capable white

    Who said that?

    but attempt some semblance of a redress, even in situations where ethnicity is a vital consideration, then the boneheads drag out the union jacks.

    Are you seriously putting the Chairwoman in that category? Or anyone who writes for this site? Because if you do, then you need some sort of medication.

  19. Rumbold — on 19th April, 2007 at 8:01 pm  

    Ramiie: “Double standards is the ultimate one way street.”

    Exactly. Nobody here supports discriminating against ethnic minorities, so why is taking the same approach towards quotas ‘racist’? I thought that the very definition of racist was someone who discriminated against a person based on their skin colour.

  20. Katy Newton — on 19th April, 2007 at 8:05 pm  

    Don’t bother, Rumbold, he’s a troll. I wish I hadn’t responded myself. I have come to the conclusion that he is probably a member of the BNP or C18 masquerading as a black person in an attempt to alienate as many people as possible.

  21. leon — on 19th April, 2007 at 8:09 pm  

    @ Roger,

    I’d suggest checking out the following: http://www.injusticefilm.co.uk/synopsis.html

  22. douglas clark — on 19th April, 2007 at 8:39 pm  

    I wonder if the problem is as much one of non-presentation, i.e. not applying for the job, as much as it is about selection. I seem to recall that Asians in particular didn’t really want to be policemen. That consequently very few actually applied, far below what population numbers would indicate ahould be happening; perhaps for the reasons Sunny points out.

  23. Rumbold — on 19th April, 2007 at 8:45 pm  

    As Don and Douglas Clark point out, perhaps many ethnic minorities simply do not consider it a brilliant career option. How is policing as a career thought of in the subcontinent? Is it up there with being a lawyer and accountant, or is it not viewed as a top job? If so, that might explain the relatively low numbers of British Asians in the force.

  24. sonia — on 19th April, 2007 at 8:46 pm  

    6. chairwoman – brilliant points. is ‘my son is a police officer’ the sort of line we’d hear on Goodness Gracious Me //or ‘my son is a doctor/lawywer/accountant/IT/investment banker..

  25. Sunny — on 19th April, 2007 at 8:47 pm  

    Ramiee, if you want to engage with other people on this site, where you are a newbie and you have no idea about other people’s backgrounds, learn some respect for a start.
    If you won’t, and will start cussing people left right and centre, calling them bigots and racists etc, people stop posting. I’m simply going to ban you and delete your posts.

    I’ve deleted all his comments and those relating to him.

  26. sonia — on 19th April, 2007 at 8:50 pm  

    Or Like Nursing – you don’t find ‘nursing’ at the top of British Asian Men’s list of jobs ( or too many British Asian women) nursing is thought of a ‘dirty’ job from the traditional desi parent suitable job perspective.

    are people less threatened by asian looking policemen if they’re asian etc.? /than by ‘white’ looking policemen? luckily for me i grew up in the ‘dodgy’ countries where police are REALLY unpleasant, and english policemen just seem so fluffy by comparison.

  27. Katy Newton — on 19th April, 2007 at 8:52 pm  

    I’m not a big fan of positive discrimination. As several people have said already, it’s still discrimination on the basis of someone’s skin colour, isn’t it?

  28. Rumbold — on 19th April, 2007 at 8:53 pm  

    “luckily for me i grew up in the ‘dodgy’ countries where police are REALLY unpleasant, and english policemen just seem so fluffy by comparison.”

    Ha ha ha Sonia.

    Thanks Sunny.

  29. Ramiie — on 19th April, 2007 at 8:57 pm  

    Sunny, I accept that you have to kowtow to your paymasters and secure your MBE. You are part of the problem, and time will reavel that to be true. I’ll of course be watching your, er, progress. BTW Dont think the Sikhs are loved by the establishment because its the muslims and blacks that are today in the firing line.

    Tea?

  30. Sahil — on 19th April, 2007 at 8:58 pm  

    “Chairwoman askes us to believe that she is jewish and in a wheelchair – which score 2 important points on my approvalometer. Indeed, she seems to make all the right-sounding noises, but on closer examination one can’t help but spot, ahem, aporia.”

    I haven’t posted in a while, been too busy, but you really are dumbass. First you accuse many of the people on this site of being anti-black and now you question this. I really hope you never have any influence, and any control, you are the worst kind of scum, the dumb ones.

  31. ZinZin — on 19th April, 2007 at 8:59 pm  

    At this point I must declare an interest as I got my curent job through the positive about disability channel. The police won’t neccessarily give every black/asian candidate a job at the force but they will most probably give them an interview if they meet the minimum criteria.

  32. douglas clark — on 19th April, 2007 at 9:09 pm  

    Just as a matter of interest the basic salary scale starts at £21k and goes all the way up to £33k, after ten years or so. Which is not at all bad. And I’ve always understood that overtime was damn near compulsory.

  33. Sunny — on 19th April, 2007 at 9:11 pm  

    Sunny, I accept that you have to kowtow to your paymasters and secure your MBE.

    I wish my paymasters would be better with their time about paying me, the bastards. Anyway, your lame jibes are like water of a ducks back. Go away.

  34. mark — on 19th April, 2007 at 9:13 pm  

    Imvoting bnp. i want my country back how it used to be.

    dont care what anyone says.

    i fed up having to pay high taxes for all these imigrants while i strugle to make ends meet.

    no wonder i wont get much of a pension.

  35. Don — on 19th April, 2007 at 9:14 pm  

    Kulvinder,

    I can more or less accept your idea that there are two broad perceptions of the police; boys in blue keeping society safe versus bully boys of the system. But if we leave it at that level then we are dealing with two equally unrealistic fantasies.

    Slightly more realistic might be a four way split;

    #1 those who see the coppers as inheritors of George Dixon’s mantle; lovable, reliable stalwarts.

    #2 those who see them as having a primary duty to society and who, as a fallible and human organisation need to be scrutinised and held to account.

    #3 those who see them as keeping the lower orders in their place, and a damn good thing too.

    #4 those who see them as keeping the lower orders in their place, the bastards.

    Exigencies of time, place and situation will mean that one could hold more than one of these views at different times. During the miner’s strike I was firmly in camp #4 and more or less broke off relations with my copper brother. Even now we are only civil to each other for mum’s sake.

    But now I tend towards #2. I accept that that may be largely because coppers are a lot nicer to me now as a middle-aged, middle-class, respectably dressed teacher than they were when I was a long haired scruffy stoned activist. I don’t think that makes me naive. And I certainly don’t see them as paragons, just as a varied and fallible collection of people who have taken on a job, some doing it well and decently, others less so.

    I hope it is not presumptious of me to guess you are still solidly a #4?

    But I don’t think it’s helpful to make wildly generalised and unsupported assertions such as your post 12. So when you say, ‘I’d favour anything that makes the job of the police more difficult…’ I have to ask if you accept that one aspect of that job is reducing the risk of Joe Public being a victim of crime.

    Sure, the police are an arm of the state and if you take the state to be, ipso facto, an evil then your position is consistent (and I have never questioned your consistency, however staggered I may sometimes be by it), but it is the arm charged with -among other things- preventing murder, rape and robbery and with dealing with pissed up divvies in town centres. Do you really want to make that aspect more difficult?

  36. El Cid — on 19th April, 2007 at 9:19 pm  

    Anyway, back on topic: if it improves policing in the big city by creating role models, a greater link between officers and community, and helps to improves trust and improves intelligence, then a bit of temporary positive discrimination is a good idea, IMO.

  37. Don — on 19th April, 2007 at 9:23 pm  

    mark,

    You think the BNP will give you back your country as it used to be? What did it use to be and how will they do that? I’m sorry you are worried about your pension, but if you think the BNP have the answer then you need to think again.

    If you don’t care what anyone says, why on earth would you post on a discussion forum?

  38. Chairwoman — on 19th April, 2007 at 9:33 pm  

    There’s positive discrimination and positive discrimination.

    If you’re talking about giving a black, brown or Jewish person – we’re also heavily under represented in the police – a job, compared with an equally qualified white person, then I’m all for it. But I wouldn’t want standards to fall drastically just to achieve government targets.

    As I said, already pretty second rate.

  39. lithcol — on 19th April, 2007 at 9:53 pm  

    Sunny,
    Ramiee clearly has problems and is using your bandwidth to vilify others who post on your site. However I do feel that others who post on your site are not shrinking violets and will not be deterred by his unhinged postings. Obviously if he/she cannot conform to everyday decency you have every right to ban this individual.

    Returning to the substance of your article. No, positive discrimination and quotas are not a solution and will lead to even less public confidence in the competence of the police. We need the best people to tackle both mundane and technically sophisticated crime.

    Cultural change in the police is happening but as with most institutions it takes time. It could be argued that many recent immigrants to this country are used to the police being inherently corrupt and this may act against their desire to join. A neighbour is a 2nd generation African and is an inspector in the met. He has experienced racism, actually more from crims than his colleagues. He laughs at those blacks that call him an Uncle Tom. He feels secure because he knows, and others know, he is where he is not because he is black but because he is competent in what he does.

    The met is not perfect but we should not underestimate the task that they are faced with. There are real bastards out there who don’t give a shit whether you are white, brown, black, yellow, male or female, just as long as they can take what they can. Those bastards
    are represented by all races.

  40. douglas clark — on 19th April, 2007 at 10:27 pm  

    I take ZinZins’ point that interviewing all ethnic minority candidates that meet the minimum criteria would be a step in the right direction. I assume the interview itself is conducted by a panel, and it would not be beyond reason that the panel itself should include representative BMEs, if they do not already do so.

  41. Sunny — on 19th April, 2007 at 10:59 pm  

    Someone I know, who think apparently our discussions are too confrontational, made a good point about positive discrimination – that it doesn’t have to be simply about letting in any tom, dick, harry etc.

    Two ways for example:

    1) If there’s a black and white candidate of equal merit, then you choose the black candidate on that basis of positive discrimination.

    2) Supposing there is a waiting list of people who want to sign up to join the police. You give priority to considering candidates from EM backgrounds (and then judge them on merit) and basically fast-track applications without actually reducing quality.

  42. Halima — on 19th April, 2007 at 11:05 pm  

    There is a difference between positive action and positive discrimination.

    The system by default is practicing postive discrimination for whites – so the argument goes. So a bit of positive measure to ensure orgs reflect the population they seek to police/represent doesn’t dilute the quality of the service. Some might argue it improves the services. Perhaps that’s why the Met is considering these arguments. The Met has not been known to be ‘race’ friendly in the past and so no reason to suppose it’s suddenly beset by altruistic desires. However it is there to do a job and this job needs people on the ground who understand the ‘people’ better.

    Just to be provocative – I wonder if my friend whose father ran a publishing house and gave her a job – considers herself to be inferior than her peers because fortune and nepotism favoured her? Probably not. At least with positive action orgs aren’t just giving you a job – they require you to meet the mininum selection criteria and then if there’s an imbalance in the systems, it seeks to address it.

    For example I work in a public organisatio. For years it seems that the top 20% senior management is male. There are plenty of women in the organisation but it seems they aren’t getting any jobs at the top of the org. Is it because they are less skilled? All of them? The glass celing exists for minorities and small measures like positive action can re-dress the inequties in the system. However it’s up to individuals to choose if they want to apply to a selection procedure where positive action is welcomed. I know lots of women who don’t want to , but equally they support the measures because positive action isn’t about individuals and their skills, it’s about improving equality of opporunity at a systemic level – that is already somewhat biased.

  43. Vikrant — on 19th April, 2007 at 11:07 pm  

    Positive discrimination???

    Given my triple Rajput/Maratha/KoBra pedigree…. welcome to my world! Here in India, not satisfied with caste quotas in education and public sector, they are demanding caste quotas in ALL private sector jobs! Infact it is in the manifesto of Congress party.

    In 2009 i’m voting BJP.

  44. Twining or Black in Blue — on 19th April, 2007 at 11:23 pm  

    All,

    May I add a few thoughts please, as a serving officer of the Crown.

    Twining.

  45. lithcol — on 19th April, 2007 at 11:23 pm  

    Sunny says,

    Someone I know, who think apparently our discussions are too confrontational, made a good point about positive discrimination – that it doesn’t have to be simply about letting in any tom, dick, harry etc.
    Two ways for example:

    1) If there’s a black and white candidate of equal merit, then you choose the black candidate on that basis of positive discrimination.

    No Sunny that is discrimination. Nothing positive here. Toss a coin if there is no means of discriminating between the candidates. Both I assume would agree that the outcome was fair.

    2) Supposing there is a waiting list of people who want to sign up to join the police. You give priority to considering candidates from EM backgrounds (and then judge them on merit) and basically fast-track applications without actually reducing quality
    Again no.

    However you dress it up, to give preference to people of equal merit because of their race, sex or sexual orientation is a non starter. It is discrimination that which you are trying to avoid.It is intrinsically unfair and will lead to problems in the long run.

  46. douglas clark — on 19th April, 2007 at 11:27 pm  

    Sunny,

    I’ve conducted thousands of selection interview processes, and I think I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of times that there has been an equal first. It was pretty rare for there to be any disagreement whatsoever amongst the panel. And that is from sitting as both a panelist and a chair. I know this might sound counterintuitive, but it’s true. Sure, in the case of a draw, favour the EM, but it won’t make any substantial difference to the stats.

    There is not much difference between ZinZins suggestion, which has the benefit of not being quite so confrontational to white sensibilities, and your second suggestion. Which I think it would be easier for the wrong people to latch on to, and twist into a racist agenda. Should we be worrying about that? Dunno.

    I still think it is a presentational issue that has to be solved, mainly by addressing the points you made in your article.

  47. ZinZin — on 19th April, 2007 at 11:38 pm  

    Douglas It is not a suggestion it is common practice with regards disabled job applicants. It works because the employer gets a candidate that meets his requirements and the candidate gets an interview providing they meet thecriteria. There is still the interview process to negotiate which can be a problem.

  48. pommygranate — on 19th April, 2007 at 11:39 pm  

    Sunny

    Why do you think that Muslims only comprise 1% of the Met whilst comprising 9% of the London population?

    I am uncomfortable with targeting ‘ethnic minorities’ per se. What is an ethnic minority? Is it defined by your religion? your skin colour? your place of birth? or those of your father’s or grand-father’s? When do people become white-enough not to be called ethnic? Do Poles count ? (as they are such a large part of London now) or do they not because they are white?

    ‘Ethnic minority’ is such a vague term as to be meaningless. That is why promotion on merit will always be a far superior method.

  49. lithcol — on 19th April, 2007 at 11:40 pm  

    The interview is an opportunity not a problem.

  50. ZinZin — on 19th April, 2007 at 11:42 pm  

    “The interview is an opportunity not a problem.”

    Or both in my case.

  51. lithcol — on 19th April, 2007 at 11:43 pm  

    Know what you mean.

  52. douglas clark — on 20th April, 2007 at 12:08 am  

    ZinZin,

    Sorry, maybe I could have phrased that better. I know the system, and I know it works. It was your suggestion about how it could apply in this particular situation that I meant. As far as I can see from looking at Police Web Sites, they aren’t doing it yet. So, what you are suggesting would be new to them. And a damn fine idea it is too :-)

    You are quite right that interviews themselves can be a problem. Despite having conducted thousands of interviews, put me in the hot seat and I was complete shit. I think lithcol is going for positive thinking, I just wish it had worked for me.

  53. Sunny — on 20th April, 2007 at 12:19 am  

    I don’t disagree with the idea that promotion or selection on merit is the best way. But that still does not solve the problem the Met has, nor explain why so many non-white officers leave the force faster than white officers.

    Pommy – I don’t know, probably the same reason why there is under-representation of black, Asian, Hindu, Jewish etc officers? I wonder if there’s any research on this.

    I don’t think simply saying we should stick to merit does anything other than carry on with the mess we have. Either the police force changes drastically, or they allow in a big influx of non-white officers so the internal culture is forced to adjust.

    Sure, in the case of a draw, favour the EM, but it won’t make any substantial difference to the stats.

    Douglas I don’t doubt your experience. I feared as much too.

    Pommy I belives Poles count as white non-British as Soru pointed out above. They should be represented, though I’m not sure if they are.

    But visible ethnic minorities face a problem that Poles don’t – that their skin colour makes them stand out and then they may be subjected to racial prejudice.

    Halima, good points.

  54. lithcol — on 20th April, 2007 at 1:08 am  

    Sunny,

    You offer no realistic solutions. Promoting equally qualified minorities above the equally qualified majority just because they are minorities is clearly a none starter and will lead to social unrest. Toss a coin.

    You couldn’t possibly have a big influx of none whites unless qualified none white are prepared to put themselves forward. Perhaps their communities will perceive them as “Uncle Toms”. Sham if that is the case. Crime is crime whatever your race.

    If you meet the standards then you have a job. Male/female, black, brown, yellow or white, homosexual or whatever.

    Good policing is necessary and I don’t accept the crap put forward by some so called libertarian/anarchists on this site that the police are inherently corrupt and racist.

    Just look at the so called police in other parts of the world if you want to criticise the Met.
    People will not have confidence in the police if they believe they obtained the job because of their minority status.

    If I have to have surgery I am not concerned because I know the individual doing it will be competent. He/she may well be brown or whatever. No problem. They will have served their apprenticeship and will be employed on the basis their expertise.

    Positive discrimination is not positive it is discriminatory and will lead to social unrest.

  55. pommygranate — on 20th April, 2007 at 1:08 am  

    Sunny

    That the police should represent the community they serve is a given.

    However, discrimination is a policy littered with problems.

    As a first step, i would like to see more research on which particular minorities are under-represented. Then these communities should be targetted to increase recruitment through selctive marketing and by persuading community leaders to encourage enrolment in the force.

    As an aside, this is really no different to the govt insisting that universities admit more state school kids. Whilst it is unfair that private schools are over-represented at Unis, the solution is not to discriminate against them.

  56. lithcol — on 20th April, 2007 at 1:26 am  

    I’m of to bed. A last thought.
    Positive discrimination is discrimination. However you dress it up, if you decide to give a job to one of two equally qualified on preconceived criteria, eg they are black, brown, disabled, etc. you are discriminating.
    Tough isn’t it, but you must state why one rather than the other got the job. If it is positive discrimination then you have a problem with human rights. Toss a coin and there is no problem.

  57. douglas clark — on 20th April, 2007 at 1:28 am  

    Sunny,

    Can I just make a couple of other points?

    Firstly, we could correct the overall imbalance in numbers by recruiting Ethnic Minority Constables. My understanding is that all Policemen must start as Constables. But it is important to remember that, like any bureaucracy, it is a structured hierarchy. So, getting promotion into higher posts will take some time. Despite fast track, it might take that cohort of new recruits a generation to be in a position to challenge for a job as Chief Constable, given a fair crack of the whip. (OK generation is OTT, but you know what I mean)

    I have no evidence whatsoever for this, but I’d assume the drop out rate for EM policemen is likely to come at the lower levels, in percentage terms – versus their rank. {Once they have seen progress in their career, they are far less likely to leave – pension rights, further promotion, more interesting work, etc.}

    So, if we want to have a representative Police Service at all levels, it is going to take a while. Dead mens shoes and all that.

    I’d be really pleased if our friendly neighbourhood bobby, who I see as a Dixon of Dock Green sort of chap, would comment. Twining in Black and Blue! Where are you?

  58. douglas clark — on 20th April, 2007 at 1:45 am  

    pommygranate,

    I think all that research had already been done. And, sort of, selective marketing does seem to be in place, if you read Police Force Web Sites, and probably more to the point, believe them. The issue here is that it has become a bureaucratic target, rather than a winning over of hearts and minds.

    Indeed some Forces seem to have involved the MCB, or vice versa:

    http://www.mcb.org.uk/features/features.php?ann_id=250

    Sorry about that, Sunnys’ blood pressure was OK too, as I remember! :-)

  59. Kulvinder — on 20th April, 2007 at 6:28 am  

    #1 those who see the coppers as inheritors of George Dixon’s mantle; lovable, reliable stalwarts.

    #2 those who see them as having a primary duty to society and who, as a fallible and human organisation need to be scrutinised and held to account.

    #3 those who see them as keeping the lower orders in their place, and a damn good thing too.

    #4 those who see them as keeping the lower orders in their place, the bastards.

    I don’t see why these distinctions add anything, but if you want to use them feel free.

    I have to ask if you accept that one aspect of that job is reducing the risk of Joe Public being a victim of crime…

    … but it is the arm charged with -among other things- preventing murder, rape and robbery and with dealing with pissed up divvies in town centres. Do you really want to make that aspect more difficult?

    They don’t ‘prevent’ murder, rape and robbery. The police isn’t a preventive force and was never designed as one; they’re mainly an investigative force that deal with the aftermath of incidents. They aren’t personal security.

    Regardless im not really sure what you’re trying to argue if you take yourself to be #2 in your criteria go ahead.

    Do you really want to make that aspect more difficult?

    I want to make the job of authoritarian figures more difficult yes.

  60. Twining or Black in Blue — on 20th April, 2007 at 9:41 am  

    Hello,

    Please go to this link and juse view for yourselves, what it is we, on the inside have to put up with. I need a little support here!

    Twining.

    http://inspectorgadget.wordpress.com/2007/04/16/leave-my-kitten-alone/#comments

  61. Katy Newton — on 20th April, 2007 at 10:03 am  

    Kulvinder, you are wrong about the police’s mission. They are not and never have been a primarily investigative force. They are a civil peacekeeping force. When Robert Peel founded the Met he did so precisely on the basis that their basic mission was to prevent crime and disorder. That’s why they have historically patrolled the streets, as the town watches did before them, and that is also they can arrest without a warrant – to prevent a breach of the peace. Have a look at the Peelian Principles, which can be found here .

  62. Twining or Black in Blue — on 20th April, 2007 at 10:20 am  

    Sunny,

    I am getting excited. I might just wee myself sorry, but I will take this in bites. I submitted this paper in 2004. No one wanted to publish it. There are 13 critical reccomendations. it was titled:

    Sack the first Superintendent who practices racism or demote them for racism and overnight there will be change in race relations of the type never seen before in policing circles………………

    You can find the link here, but here were the reccomendations. Instead of sacking the Supers they are promoting them. Yes, that’s right, practice racsim, and we will promote you! So you see, post Macpherson, and in some denial, the problem is getting worse. Now I have wee’d myself!

    Recommendations post the CRE report into racism and the police service (2004)

    (1) ACPO must first ensure that ‘Race’ is understood and acknowledged as a specialist area within policing. Forces will ensure that relevant departments focussing on ‘race’ issues contain an alternative racialised perspective within, irrespective of rank. This means that Police organisations have no choice but to now those Black colleagues that do not sell out to these issues into key strategic/operational positions within the Force.

    (2) ACPO must acknowledge and ensure that selective consultation with member of the BME community, or selected members of BPA’s that are themselves racist or whom purport to represent the community without academic knowledge or experience, will cease.

    (3) (i) ACPO must ensure that Forces identify ‘race’ experts within their respective Forces. In essence and as a guide there may be one or two individuals within each Force who exist irrespective of rank with these skills These individuals will have a (a) thorough understanding, (b) proven experience in tackling ‘race’ issues at a local and national level, (c) as well as an academic background in this field. ii) ACPO will ensure that these individuals are not further marginalised and will pursue to sign up these people to form an advisory committee on ‘race’ issues within the police organisation and
    essentially this group will act as a steering group for ACPO on the issues of ‘race.’(iii) These individuals will on a basis of Team basis be able to provide mutual aid support in relation to issues of ‘race’ tension that occur across England, Wales and Scotland. (iv) Secondments to foreign Forces will be made possible where intervention is deemed to be of assistance to the recipient Force and these people will from part of this team.

    (4) ACPO will agree to critically review the support given to local BPA’s and the NBPA in terms of funding and a base level will be agreed. Financial disparity between Forces will be removed. ACPO will agree to critique the factors that allow the best people to serve on the NBPA and in other Home Office departments in relation to ‘race.’

    In particular, the removal of barriers relating to rank will be pursued rigorously and secondments to relevant departments will be based on the criteria identified in 3 (a) to (c) above.

    (5) ACPO will ensure that Forces will agree a minimum base standard of training delivery in relation to race’ and this must be a continuous and regular process. Suitably experienced speakers and minority ethnic trainers will from the visible minority ethnic communities will form a part of this training. Training Managers that do not deliver effective training will be removed.

    (6) ACPO will pursue vigorous policies and practices that mean those that practice institutional racism will be demoted and/or dismissed.

    (7) ACPO will pursue an agreement that it will pursue honest representation of ‘race’ issues from a media perspective both within and in the community.

    (8) ACPO will agree and ensure an immediate and independent review of leadership training for minority ethnic staff, which is considered to be delivered from a White ethnocentric stance.

    (8) ACPO will agree to review promotion and career routes for BME staff and proactively remove inappropriate promotion cliques, e.g. Inspector’s mess. ACPO will agree to review how it has pursued a “behave like me and I will promote you approach.”

    (9) ACPO will ensure that Forces will review their partnerships and promote partnership work from the perspective of anti racism. Any leader not actively pursuing this process will be removed and offered alternative posting.

    (10) ACPO will agree to provide a research review of national ‘race’ tribunals by Forces since 1995,within 1 year, and provide examples of racist behaviours to Forces with a view to model some learning and actions that will assist Forces in preventing racism’s. The criteria for the research will be agreed with relevant BME staff.

    (11) ACPO will promote research being conducted from a racialised perspective. This research will review the BPA movement the NBPA movements and insider experience producing its final findings within 2 years to ACPO.

    (12) The ‘race’ portfolio will not be passed around within ACPO for a period of less than three years. There will be set objectives for each Force within the portfolio, and every two years a report will be published by ACPO showing development. Non significant progress will be vigorously monitored with sanctions being placed on Forces and Chief Constables who do not meet relevant areas of development.

    (13) Both ACPO and the Police Federation will forthwith employ selected and suitably qualified police officers as “race” advisors. These officers will pursue the action plan above and report yearly on progress.

  63. Twining or Black in Blue — on 20th April, 2007 at 10:24 am  

    The link:

    http://blackinblue.blogspot.com/2006/10/this-paper-was-given-to-service-in.html

    Need I say anymore. I have heard nothing of the paper, indicating the hidden desire as Sunny suggests, to continue to pick on Black Officer’s they don’t like, to over scrutinse, to marginalise us into oblivion. And finally to increase numbers by bringing in “Freshies” whose legs will eventually be taken because they are simply not good enough.

  64. Roger — on 20th April, 2007 at 11:12 am  

    Leon: Re post 21.
    I agree that there is still improvement needed over the treatment of people in police custody. Not just people killed by the police but other deaths and injuries. However, the fact that there is concern over such deaths and the general attitudes and methods of police officers in treating prisoners also be remembered.

  65. Roger — on 20th April, 2007 at 11:18 am  

    “i want my country back how it used to be.”
    What, run by the Normans or the Romans, mark? Rampant rickets, the black death and regular famines with witch-burning for entertainment.

  66. TheFriendlyInfidel — on 20th April, 2007 at 11:42 am  

    Rampant rickets, the black death and regular famines with witch-burning for entertainment.

    *sigh*

    These days its all Rampant Rabbits, AIDs, fast food and media hate figures.

    *wipes tear from eye*

    Oh for the good old days …

    TFI

  67. Kulvinder — on 20th April, 2007 at 12:34 pm  

    Kulvinder, you are wrong about the police’s mission. They are not and never have been a primarily investigative force.

    Yeah i know, but i disagree with that as i disagree with the supposed ‘deterrent’ nature of justice (outside of specific examples) or the rationale that prison ‘reduces’ crime.

    I take it as a priori that most policemen spend their time investigating complaints or crimes that have occured than preventing them with their presence.

  68. Kismet Hardy — on 20th April, 2007 at 12:42 pm  

    “Imvoting bnp. i want my country back how it used to be.”

    Back in the day you’d get the best of six from the cane for disregarding your grammar lessons boyo

  69. Chairwoman — on 20th April, 2007 at 1:08 pm  

    He He He :-)

  70. ChrisC — on 23rd April, 2007 at 2:12 pm  

    Sunny – “Only in certain cases”, er, incluidng the police, media and politics.

    Do you really think that politicians should “represent” people along racial lines?

    And how precisley would that work?
    Should an Asian MP attempt to represent Asians rather than his/her constituents?

    Lunacy.

  71. Sunny — on 24th April, 2007 at 1:25 am  

    Do you really think that politicians should “represent” people along racial lines?

    No I’m not arguing for that. I’m just saying these institutions should be more diverse than they are, at least to vaguely reflect the constituency they serve.

    But I’m not in favour of the idea that: Asian journalists only cover Asian stories; that white MPs cannot serve Asian constituents etc. But these two concepts are not mutually exclusive.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Pickled Politics © Copyright 2005 - 2010. All rights reserved. Terms and conditions.
With the help of PHP and Wordpress.