And A Happy New Year To You Too

Reading Time: < 1 minute

It didn’t take long.  My first post of 2016 is back to questining an old chestnut from last year.

All was going well, I was sitting quietly in the kitchen munching on my Coco Pops when it happened.  I happened upon a Tweet from Jack Dromey MP asserting (once more) that the Police should look like the public they serve.


I am not opposed to diversity in the Police or any other domain. I am, however, against targets and positive discrimination.  Positive discrimination is not, in my view, helpful to anybody.

I replied to Jack Dromey asking one simple question;

Why is it not more appropriate to recruit the best candidates from whichever race, creed, sex etc they come from?  If I need the Police I don’t give a tuppeny toss what gender, race or ethnic appearance they are as long as they turn up and deal with my problem effectively.

I haven’t had a reply yet.

What do you think? Am I wrong?  Quality of the job applicant or ethnic origin? No sitting on the fence, choose one of the two options, which is more important?

And a Happy New Year by the way.

Enjoyed the post? Share it?

16 thoughts on “And A Happy New Year To You Too”

  1. I have yet to see the research that supports the notion that police electing the community = improved community relations.

    For me, it is about the quality of service that is provided. I think that the most damning public perception is shown in satisfaction surveys. Namely, the public think that we are not bad until they have cause to need us. Then the rating plummets.

    This needs to get sorted forthwith. It is an easy fix. Do what you are paid to do. Treat victims of crime like you would want your family to be treated if they were victims. The Officers providing this service need to be supported by freeing them up to deal with the important calls as opposed to being run ragged.

    Officers that I worked with cared about the service that they provided. They only got bitter when the systems that they had to follow compromised this ability. Then they were branded cynical.

    Someone in authority needs to listen to the cynics before it is too late.

    Retired Met Inspector.

  2. Surely it is far more important that our representatives in Parliament should look like the people they represent. That is unlikely to happen anytime soon.
    On another note,
    Jeff will remember the Camden carrier known as Ethnic 30, I do think he worked on it, known as such as there was only one M W officer on the crew.
    Apart from the inside joke of the call sign the public and the rest of the old bill only recognised the colour as blue. It was a working support unit and the very diverse people of Camden treated it exactly the same as any other police unit, they really could not care what sex or ethnicity the crew were.

    1. My point entirely, thank you. “Ethnic 30” is a perfect example, I fondly remember the 30/31 units and as you quite rightly point out, when they arrived on scene nobody gave two hoots about the makeup of the crew, they were just grateful for their attendance.

      Way too much has been made of the ethnicity issue. I’m not claiming it’s perfect, but it’s far from being as bad as portrayed.

  3. Not only did the recruitment quota cause me offence but so did the promotion issue where ability appeared to depend on sex and ethnicity, so not only did we have a number of useless recruits but a draft of incompetent supervisors put there to make the gender and ethnicity ratios look good.

  4. I note Jack Dromey’s Tweet stated ‘The Police must look like the public they serve. Greater diversity is essential…’

    I would also ask why are the Police being asked, if not pushed, along this “road” when other public institutions are not? Or when in fact some public institutions already have significantly more diverse workforces.

    The NHS is one well known example, especially in our English cities.

    How about the legal profession? In a very short time the majority of solicitors will be from a South Asian heritage; with the “knock on” effect on our criminal courts. Will anyone ask why this profession no longer looks like the public it serves?

    In my policing experience in one of those English cities BAME officers were often NOT seen as providing an impartial policing service and the South Asian communities often expressed that. Yes time changed attitudes somewhat.

    Sadly to keep numbers up my own force / service recruited and retained BAME officers of a poor standard; one officer was known to be illiterate and unable to do ANY paperwork. Others had dubious personal and business interests. Once an officer became aware his corrupt activities were likely to mean his arrest, so he fled abroad and upon his return sometime later was left alone. We once found that BAME figures were being corrupted by counting white officers as BAME and not showing those BAME who left.

    A few months ago I chatted with a BAME teacher in that city and he explained there remained strong family and personal obstacles to recruitment. He noted that local BAME were moving, usually to London, to join the police away from their communities – which may now be affected by the London residency criteria.

    What was encouraging until recruitment tailed off was the willingness of a number of younger BAME serving in the PCSO role to apply successfully to become police constables.

    1. Indeed, it’s a far more complex issue than the senior management and politicians would have us believe.

  5. The best candidate without question, regardless of creed, colour or race. As we retired coppers reflect with much sadness, there was/is far too much emphasis placed on diversity rather than ability. This has not served the community as a whole, but rather focused too much on pandering more to the whims and demands of the groups who attract most political influence.

    The oath we swore says it all really. Not so sure it carries the same respect we held for it back in the eighties though.

    “I, … of … do solemnly and sincerely declare and affirm that I will well and truly serve the Queen in the office of constable, with fairness, integrity, diligence and impartiality, upholding fundamental human rights and according equal respect to all people; and that I will, to the best of my power, cause the peace to be kept and preserved and prevent all offences against people and property; and that while I continue to hold the said office I will to the best of my skill and knowledge discharge all the duties thereof faithfully according to law”.

    Protection of life and property, prevention and detection of crime. That is what we joined for and what candidates should aspire to achieve and be tested upon. Politicians of every political colour will always make their ignorant comments. The service must not be influenced towards ethnicity as the answer. Ability & commitment are what counts.

    Steve Bennett
    Retired West Midlands
    Thinbluelineuk blog

    1. Absolutely Steve, who wants a Police Force that looks like the Community but can’t/won’t do the job? The best candidate regardless is far more important. The cream will always rise wherever it comes from

      1. Totally Alan. One of the most annoying elements in the pandering to political whimsy, was many forces having one entrance exam for indigenous and another for ethnic applicants. These entrants were often resented and carried through the job. Worse, when they proved themselves less than capable, many were (and probably still are) given extra tutoring to facilitate exam passes then promoted, often more to display political correctness than to elevate the most capable.
        Regardless of race, colour or creed, the candidate must not only be capable of entry on the same grounds, but if considered for promotion, must have earned their spurs and command the genuine respect of their teams.
        Sadly, we’ve all witnessed far too many inferior candidates who in the 70’s and 80’s would hardly have proved eligible for entry, let alone promotion. That said this is also true of many indigenous applicants, but at least there was less suspicion of lower entry level exams.

  6. As a retired ‘ethnic’ I have to say it’s got to be quality. I’m sick and tired of the looney lefty do-gooders that bang on about representing our community. We need to go back to the 70’s and 80’s, men (and women) who had life skills or ex-services and wanted to join the JOB for what it was, law enforcement.

    1. Thanks Jeff, I dont even need to know what community you represent. All I know is that when I was serving I wanted my colleagues to be the best they could be, I didn’t care where they came from, even the Scottish ones were welcome. I also think that artificially skewing the number of “ethnics” doesn’t actually do the community any favours either. If the population want to apply and are good enough they will get in regardless.

      1. I’m Greek Cypriot and did my 30 years as an operational cop in the MET. Yes it’s nice to have the token ethnic in a community and that can benefit the JOB in relation to cultural issues and translation but personally I found it a bit of a bind being posted to Camden back in the 80’s which historically was a mixture of Greek and Irish. Most operational ethnic cops would say the same thing. The communities want coppers on the street and it doesn’t matter what colour they are. There’s a lot of senior officers, self-proclaimed community leaders and MP’s who have jumped on the band wagon of race and have made a lovely living out of it.

Comments are closed.

Scroll to Top
Verified by MonsterInsights