Sunday, 10 January 2010

More Controversy

So, the Met Police have issued an apology to the Black Police Association (BPA) and acknowledged that they are still a racist organisation. This has been done to break the deadlock with the BPA which has existed for 16 months. The BPA has openly recommended that visible ethnic minorities (VEM) do not join the Metropolitan Police and this has affected recruiting significantly. They claim that VEM officers are more likely to be dismissed and disciplined than their white counterparts and are not being promoted at the same rate.

When you look at the figures, at first glance they may have a point. Proportionately more VEM officers are dismissed and face discipline charges than white officers. There is a lot more to this however. I have worked locally with the BPA and this is what we found.

If we first look at recruiting, many VEM officers join the police in exactly the same way as their white counterparts, but approximately 30% do not meet the standard to pass the assessment centre and receive extra help to try and pass this. It seems inevitable that if we are recruiting a significant number of VEM officers who need extra help to meet the basic assessment requirements of the service, proportionately more of them are likely to fail as officers and end up being dispensed with under Regulation 13 as unfit for the role of constable.

With regard to misconduct, some of the above also applies, but more significantly, cultural issues play a part in the discipline cases of VEM officers and particularly Asian officers. Those officers come from a cultural background where the family has significant importance and influence over individuals. The majority of Asian officers are disciplined for abuse of police computer systems. They are put under pressure to carry out unlawful checks on police systems by friends or family. This has been recognised and Asian officers receive additional guidance and advice regarding the risks and pressures. The BPA has acknowledged this and is also trying to help address this problem.

Family pressures may mitigate some of these officers discipline cases but abuse of police computer systems and the imparting of information gained by that abuse is a serious matter that cannot be ignored. This would simply be turning a blind eye to corrupt practice and put officers and informants etc. at risk.

I have no doubt that there will be examples of cases where VEM officers have been treated differently to white colleagues but we have not found this to be the case in my own Force.

Turning to promotion, this is a more difficult area. We had the case recently of the Met number three Tarique Ghaffur accusing Sir Ian Blair of being racist as he would not promote him. I do not know Ghaffur or his capabilities but his accusations tell me something about him and I am not sure he would ever be fit to run the Metropolitan Police service. I am no fan of Blair, but one thing I do know is that he is no racist and did more for promoting equality in the police than anyone.

We all have a ceiling in our careers and throwing in the race card every time you don’t get a promotion is a dangerous game and not one I would support unless a candidate has obvious qualities that are being overlooked.

The BPA on the other hand back the likes of Ali Dizaei who is once again facing corruption charges, and who is a complete charlatan who has used and abused his ethnicity to achieve the rank that he already has. Time and again he has said promote me or you are racist and senior officers, frightened to death that their own careers will be ruined by being branded racists, have done just that. The BPA does itself a complete disservice backing the likes of Dizaei and should distance themselves from him immediately.

Now, before I am accused of being a white supremacist who is obviously racist and in denial of racism in the service; let me say that I am not na├»ve and of course there are racists in the police service. As someone famous once said “The police are the public and the public are the police.” We are the public before we join the police and there are racists out there. We do what we can to root them out before they join and during their entire service. There is more to be done but throwing around allegations such as the above does no one any good.


  1. I'm with you all the way, TP. Racism will never be totally eradicated from the police until it is totally eradicated from society. Anyone can guess the "correct" answers to the racism module in training. (No, I'm not a bobby, but I have seen the module.)

    In the meantime, it may well behove the BPA to look at just who they support. IMO, Dizaei is possibly being picked on. This, though, has a lot more to do with him being an unpleasant person rather than his racial origins.

  2. A brave shot at grasping the third rail of british policing Lex.

  3. It is endemic in other UK law enforcement agencies. Drop the pass mark and you shall reap what you sow......Funnily enough, figures on the ethnicity of an investigated person in complaints and corruption investigations within forces/services are never made public. Is it because negative inferences may be drawn? Disproportionate numbers....? Agencies are very zealous in keeping those figures under wraps. Interesting, because they are normally very keen to promote diversity.

  4. Thanks for sharing this opinion from the inside.

    I agree with all the equality stuff, but when it comes to discrimination to reach that supposed equality, something is afoot.

  5. I'm sick and fucking tired of hearing that word 'racist'. It's got to the stage now where I really do not care and I did ... I really did worry that people of a different skin colour were not getting a fair deal. But the whingeing and crying just has to stop now and not the least reason why it has to stop is that it is starting to have a negative effect. More and more white people are starting to feel more and more negative about black and brown people BECAUSE of the continual fucking whining. There is NOWHERE in this world that they would get a better deal. NOWHERE. Still they bleat. Is it really racism? Why, then, do we not have hordes of Chinese crying about the unfair treatment? The Chinese just get on with their lives, no moaning about imaginary 'hate-crimes', and the white people respect the Chinese for it.

    The next time someone calls you racist; just tell 'em to piss off.

  6. Ye gods. Fuck equality, fuck political correctness, and fuck positive discrimination.

    Meritocracy is the way - either you're capable of doing the job, or you're not - end of story.

    If you start moving the goalposts to produce some artificial level of "diversity" then you end up letting in people who fall short of that first test - ability.

    Thorny subject, but a good post - my apologies for the slight outburst at the start of this comment!

  7. The police are the public and the public are the police

    Might have been true when you joined up, but nowadays.......

  8. Dear BPA

    Shut up with this petty identity politics drama, and go collar some bad guys (you know, the thing you're paid to do).

    Yours Sincerely

    The Great British Public

  9. Congratulations on a sound, informed and balanced post.

    In these days of death by political correctness and diversity, the emphasis has shifted from what is right and fair to an over playing of the minority card, to the disadvantage of the majority. Ecatly the opposite of democracy we might think.

    The race card is all to easily played in so many areas of society to the detriment of the nation.

    It is a sorry state of affairs when the authoroties encourage us to overlook massive issues like the immigration problem for fear of mentioning that blasted word "race". The immigration problem and all its consequences to housing, health, education and the criminal justice system has long since ceased being a racial issue. It is now simply an overcrowding issue, costing the taxpayer millions.

    Our prisons are overcrowded and as a result, leniant sentences are imposed, so society suffers. 85,000 in our prisons today, 14% of which are foreign nationals costing the taxpayer in excess of £340million a year. That is nothing short of criminal.

    All most of us want to see is a return to the spirit of fair play, both in our working environment and society in general.

    Once again, when looking back over the last ten years to see who is the cause of it all, our political leaders must carry the weight of responsibility. Politically motivated, reverse discriminatory immigration strategies and imbalanced and unfair diversity measures are dessimating the national heritage which always stood for "fair play".

    It is they who have imposed the majority of changes in every walk of life that has blighted our communities and it is they who must carry the can of responsibility for the problems we now face as a nation.



  11. >"The BPA has openly recommended that visible ethnic minorities (VEM) do not join the Metropolitan Police and this has affected recruiting significantly."

    Yes, but for better or worse?

    >[Blair] is no racist and did more for promoting equality in the police than anyone.

    Surely we're all aware that the BPA has no interest at all in "equality".

  12. I am waiting for the fall out from the Ali Dizaei trial.
    If he is found Not Guilty he will sue. If he is found Guilty of peverting the course of justice, he should be looking at custody(?)
    He will not go quietly

  13. A black officer I once knew, was a thief, a mump (old Met expression) and once all but admitted to me his colour gave him a winning hand every time. He was not worthy of being promoted the two occasions he was. The spineless way the organisation dealt with him was more demoralising than many other things I could mention as a guest on this blog.This man didn't harm or demoralise his police force, the way the senir managment and the greater system dealt with him did all the damage. The police are usually pretty good at dealing with thieves, even from within their own ranks, but with this guy they were an utter disgrace and shamed every black or Asian officer who was already serving, or intent on joining.

  14. In the interests of equality, inclusiveness & suchforth, is there an Anglo-Saxon Police Association?

  15. From my experience elsewhere pressure is put upon the ethnic minorities by their Unions to claim racial discrimination whenever possible.
    I remember that I had a Barbadian Electronics technician working for me who was very good and I recommended him for promotion. He failed the board, and afterwards he asked me what I though about it and I said that I stood by my recommendation that I thought he was very good, but unfortunately the winning candidate was a little better. He said to me that he thought the same, but his Union representative was pressing him to appeal on grounds of racial discrimination.
    Incidentally, when he retired he went back to Barbados because he was fed up with discrimination against him by the ethnic minorities, not by the whites.

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