Saturday, 25 July 2009

An Inspector Speaks: MP's Slam Police for Being Racist

We've had Sierra Charlie Speaks and Plastic Fuzz Speaks (Plastic - please write more), the postings of whom were both very popular. I'm very honoured that these officers submitted postings to my blog and it's marvellous to share the perspectives of officers from different levels of the police. I've always wanted this blog to be an avenue to give the public an insight into the daily lives of police officers in the UK and to portray the 'human' face of the men and women behind the uniform. It's also been very beneficial for me to read the comments left by members of the public the majority of whom, contrary to media reports, are very supportive.

So I am extremely pleased to present this first posting written by another Inspector from another Force. I'm sure you'll agree, it represents a good portent of things to come from this officer should they decide to contribute regularly to this blog. Either way, for me at least, it's a breath of fresh air - expertly researched and well written. I can't say I'm surprised, their credentials are of the highest order. I have actually invited the Inspector to become a team member of this blog, with a view to eventually taking it over. I've written about and reaffirmed the reasons why I joined the police, shared some of the highs and lows of being a police officer, and have concluded with what it is to be a leader. I've pretty much said all I wanted to say. There are a couple of other things that have been on my mind which I may write about but this is, in essence, the beginning of my long goodbye. I hope the Inspector takes me up on the offer of continuing this blog.

I did read the report that the Inspector writes about below and, needless to say, I was absolutely incensed. There's a saying about people who live in glass houses not throwing stones which Keith Vaz should take heed of but, not wanting to steal the Inspector's thunder, I shall leave you to read and digest their posting.

Chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee, Keith Vaz and his cronies have criticised the police. He says that despite the recommendations of the McPherson inquiry, we are stopping and searching too many black people and failing to recruit a proportionate number of ethnic minority officers. He went on to say that there is blatantly a disproportionate representation of particularly black people in the criminal justice system.

Before I comment further let’s look at the integrity and credentials of Mr Vaz.

Mr Vaz has claimed £75,500 for a flat in Westminster despite having a £1.15 million family home 12 miles away. In May 2007, just after the taxpayer had paid the Council Tax and Service charges of £3095 on his flat, he flipped his second home to another property in Leicester as he had rented out the flat. There was no mortgage on this ‘second’ home but he managed to claim £16,000 in expenses for it including; £480 on silk cushions, £2614 on a pair of leather arm chairs and £750 on new carpets. In May 2008 he flipped his second home back to the Westminster flat and started claiming mortgage and expenses on that again.

His family arrived in this country from Yemen in 1965. He received a good education and qualified and worked as a solicitor until elected to Parliament in 1987. His career has not been without controversy and how he has retained his position is questionable.

In 1989 he led a protest against Salman Rushdie’s novel, The Satanic Verses, later stating there was no such thing as absolute freedom of speech. In the same year he suggested that an IRA bomb at the Leicester army recruiting office may have been planted by the British Army.

In 2000 he was investigated and subsequently censured following the Filkin report, which he refused to co-operate with. He owned five properties at this time. He was found to have accepted money from Sarosh Zaiwolla, whom he later recommended for a peerage.

In 2001 he was severely criticised for getting involved with the application for British citizenship from the Hinduja brothers who paid his wife’s company money for an event at the House of Commons.

In 2002 Mr Vaz was suspended from the House for one month for making false allegations against a former policewoman. I could go on but hopefully you get the picture.

The message I have for Mr Vaz is very simple. A disproportionate number of black people are stopped and searched and are in the criminal justice system because a disproportionate number of black people commit crime. I won't entertain any argument that they are predisposed to commit crime, only that they have been so alienated and let down by the government's failed social programs and promises that, for many, they have been given no avenues to do otherwise.

To suggest that there are more black people in the justice system because the police target black offenders and therefore ignore white offenders is an outrageous slur and a complete distortion of the truth. In Lambeth and Hackney for example, it is almost 100% groups of black youths committing robbery offences on black, white and Asian victims. The police target the offenders. We can’t lawfully search white people just to balance the books.

What Mr Vaz and his colleagues should be doing, instead of bleeding as much as they can from the expenses system and building property empires, is to look at why there are so many black people committing crime. What are Mr Vaz and the Government doing to ensure that immigrants to this country are not a danger to the public and are not gunning down policewomen on the streets of Nottingham? What is Mr Vaz and the Government doing about ensuring young black people get a proper education, are lifted out of poverty and despair and led away from a culture of gangs, drugs, unemployment and the criminal justice system?

When the levels of education among black people reach the national average the police will find it an awful lot easier to recruit, retain and promote them.

No organisation, public or private, has done more to promote equality and diversity than the police service. Many would say we have gone too far, but that is another story. Our prisons are overflowing and the Justice system cannot cope with the offenders we are putting into the system. So the offenders continue to offend and get caught in the incessant merry go round. That too is another story.

When you have done your job Mr Vaz, ours will be a lot easier and will appear fairer to your ignorance.

Don’t knock us for doing ours so well.

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  1. Many Blacks have a predisposition towards criminal and corrupting behaviour and if they cant do the job then they shouldn't get the job. Its not about racism it never as been

  2. I am sorry to hear Keith Vaz is still in public office. One of the driving reasons behind my decision to emigrate was that the most basic level of law and order had completely disappeared in England due to the actions of radical politicians such as Vaz who seem to support the underclass rather than the average, respectable, members of the public. To read that he had his nose in the trough alonside the other MPs is no surprise.

  3. Yesterday I watched a gathering of the worlds finest sprinters line up in the heats for the 100metres final at Crystal Palace. 7 black and 1 white athlete in each heat. Were the 7 there 'cos they was black? No, they were there because they had qualified as the best in the world. Were the 2 white sprinters there because they were white? Nope, it was because they had also qualified as the best in the world. To select on different criteria would be bloody nigh impossible. Do you get where I'm coming from Mr Vas?

  4. A small correction to an otherwise excellent post. Nottingham isn't, and never was, the Gun Capital of Britain. Most, or at least half, of gun murders in Nottingham were actually committed by a white gang who are now, after some good work by Notts police, eating their porridge like the three bears.

    One point we should perhaps consider is family income. We are always told that kids of single parents are more likely to be involved with the police than those from two-parent families. However, most single-parent families are poor, disproportionately so. When income is taken into account, kids from single-parent families are no more likely to have contact with the police than others of the same income group.

    If we were to substitute "black" for "single-parent", would we find the same thing?

    Mind you, that's still no reason for the police to go looking for a white youth if the witness says that the offender was black!

    also, you can only recruit from those who apply and are good enough.

  5. It's a nonsense to say black people are predisposed to crime, as anon did above. Are Vietnamese predisposed to grow marjuana? Afghans heroin? Are white people predisposed to commit burglary or steal cars? Is it only black people who commit robbery and carry knives? How many of the big heists have been committed by black folk? None. The fact is that those who do not have the same opportunities in life as those around them will turn to crime and, as MarkUK quite rightly suggests, it would be well worth considering how many criminals come from single-parent families on low income - regrdless of their ethnicity.

  6. Vaz could always set an example and apply to join the police. However, considering that this government took away clothing allowance for CID officers, refreshment pay if you worked extended hours, dental care, dry cleaning tokens for uniform and extended the pensionable work period to 35 years, why would he give up his right to home flipping, making racist slurs, taking bungs and setting up his corrupt little friends for a peerage. And saying that the Army was responsible for blowing up its own recruitment centre - disgraceful.

  7. It depends where you do the stop and search. BrixHAM (Devon) and BrixTON (London) are likely to throw up different results.
    Anyway ignore him. Even if is still here after the next election, Nulabor won't be.
    I did not know he was from Yemen (Aden) and out of interest I googled 'Yemen Police' and found this on the Country profile.
    - Although Yemen’s constitution protects privacy, government police forces routinely search citizens’ property without warrants and monitor telephone, postal, and Internet communications. Yemen’s constitution provides for freedom of speech and of the press “within the limits of the law,” but this protection is also violated. Police forces often threaten and harass journalists who are critical of the government in order to influence press coverage;
    He is lucky to be here say I

  8. Keith Vaz has his own agenda. i recently stopped a group of lack youths in a robbery hotspot. they accused me of racism until name checks revealed they were all convicted robbers and on bail for more robberies.They did not appreciate my comment about stopping the right people in the right area!! The reasons for black criminality is obvious social deprivation,lack of positive male rolr models , the adopition of gansta rap culture etc. The quick and easy thing for a politician to do is blame the police the hard thing to do in an election year is to fix it and spend some money!!!!

  9. The "logic" that is used to prove police racism is so flawed that it amazes me that people fall for it so often. An organisation's level of "racism" does not depend on how many black people there are working in it or on how many black people it searches or arrests. It takes a peculiar kind of ignorance of the world to come up with the kind of gems you hear from left-wing politicians.

    Politicians of all stripes spend their entire careers fighting the last war. It's about time they got some life experience. Why don't they do something useful such as joining the Special Constabulary?

  10. Anon, above: Using the `racist cop` thing is the only excuse they had.

  11. I do hope you don't mind, I have re-produced that post on my blog, cross-referenced and with an acknowledgement to you. It is such a well-balanced view - IMHO!

  12. May I offer the following: I worked with a friend whose skin colour was of a darker hue. Nice lad, smart, good brain, and you could always rely on him to be there when needed. In short, completely wasted as a Parking Attendant. His major skill was that he was terrific with dogs and would have made an ideal dog handler. He had previously worked as a kennel manager for the MOD until they shut down the depot. His major failing was that of the attitude "The Police beat up black people" and no amount of persuasion could convince him otherwise. It really used to bother me to see such potential wasted as a PA but what can you say? You can't recruit people if they won't join, regardless of political posturing.

  13. One point missing is that drug dealing and street robbery is easy money, I have seen all types joining in, get up late, mug a few in the evenings, easy peesiy.

  14. A fantastic Post Inspector: since i was in touch with you i have been very busy and have just checked back over your blog.
    Isn't it sweet that we know what all the MPs were up to?! I know journalists can be such a terror, but scandals like that have reminded almost everyone why we need a free press.
    I just wish that views like this, forthright but eminently sensible, could be out in the mainstream and not just in blogs (not to belittle the quality of what's on offer here).
    Here you can say a 'disproportionate amount of black people commit crime' and then go on to explain that is due to the disenfranchisement and failings in the political system, not any predisposition to crime within the black community.
    But imagine the Commissioner making a comment like that! He would be torn apart as a racist (when of course there is no racism contained in that statement at all).
    In fact now i think about it, politicians accusing police of racism in stop and search is a pretty convenient smokescreen to draw attention from the much deeper systemic failing.
    Of all the naughty things that they get up to in Westminster, the repeated use of Law and Order as political currency is one of the worst. The ludicrous pantomime of party politics should not be allowed to impact on the real issues of crime and policing. Perhaps a cross- party working group of senior political figures (because there are some very good ones) who no longer have a 'career' to further should be charged with law and order policy in our crazy islands...

  15. Hi,

    A police officer carries respect and prestige. He has to be address with proper salutations and obeyed. He can also be a friend and a guide. Many times public members approach them even for directions. To become a police officer one needs commitment, hard work, agility, a motto to serve, readiness to face danger etc. If all of these traits are there, a career with police department can be truly satisfying.

  16. I think the fact of drug trafficking is one that is needed ... but I really like your blog is very interesting ... thanks

  17. What a shame!
    it is truly hard to realize that thing like this are actually happening, then I just pray for this to change in order to live in a better place.
    It is about time for all us to kick the racism away once and forever.