February 10th, 2008

Level Playing Fields

Posted in The Job - Comment by 200

In 2006, Gloucestershire Police were taken to tribunal by an applicant who wanted to join their ranks when the police deselected all white males from the application process in favour of ethnic minorities & females. They were advised the practise was illegal & made to pay the individual £2,500 compensation. 

Positive discrimination has been illegal for as long as  (negative) discrimination. Police recruiting policies are clear to point out that their efforts to recruit higher proportions of ethnic, female & homosexual groups are ‘positive action‘ not positive discrimination; they know the score & the risk of being taken to court by unsatisfied ‘customers’.

It is all the more surprising then, that the Met appear to be continuing the practice of positive discrimination this week. A soldier, Ben Mayer, has been declined an application pack by the Met on the grounds that they are not recruiting white males currently.

The get-out clause for the Met appears in a statement to the press that they are not recruiting anyone right now, which would be fair enough & equal all round had not the reply to Lance Corporal Mayer, a regimental police officer with the Royal Anglians, said "The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) is actively seeking to raise interest from black & minority ethnic communities & females who seek a career with the policing family. For further details please contact…"

So they’re actively seeking interest but not recruiting? Yeah, right. I’ve not seen many posts in the police recruiting forums from ethnic or female groups complaining that the Met are refusing to send them application forms.

The approach of this news story comes from the angle of a British war hero who has seen 9 mates killed in Afghanistan, who just wants to serve his country further in the police. The truth is that although Lance Cpl Mayer may be just the right sort of person to make a successful career in the police, this isn’t reason enough why he should be treated any different to someone from the checkouts at Asda.

The reality is that if the checkout operator at Asda happens to be a black female lesbian, she will get preferential treatment over Ben Mayer.

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6 comments

  1. Officer Dibble says:

    I hope he ‘actively raises the issue’ of why he cant be sent an application pack to ‘raise his interest’ like any other person, ‘seeking a career’in our extended ‘police family’

    February 11th, 2008 at 01:19

  2. Parkway says:

    I’m never sure how ‘positive discrimination’ is supposed to work – can’t he just tell them he’s black?

    February 12th, 2008 at 13:43

  3. Twining or Black in Blue says:

    Yes, it’s the Cha-walas again under the instruction of Sir Ian Liar.

    February 12th, 2008 at 17:39

  4. Twining or Black in Blue says:

    The cha-walas in Met recruiting are at it again!

    February 12th, 2008 at 17:41

  5. Civ_In_The_City says:

    I`m really interested to know the background to the whole idea of statistical representation. How does it help to have the same percentage of a type of people in your workforce as the percentage of those people in the general population.

    (Remember the good old days when they were the called ‘the general public’ and not ‘our communities’. I certainly remember the day those phrases traded places. Nowadays you can`t get a senior officer on the radio or T.V. for more than 60 seconds without them banging on about ‘communities’. It`s a little game I play, waiting for the fastest use of the “C” word).

    Imagine there are 3% of “Freds” in the population. You employ exactly the same percentage of Freds in your force, so as to be ‘representative of the communities we serve’. But all the Freds happen to be top-flight but nevertheless back-room staff, never seen by the public at all. How does this help?

    Apart from the one solitary fleeting moment when a Chief Constable can get himself on the T.V. with the wonderful news about how representative his force is.

    How about this for an idea. Under-represented groups don`t join the police because they don`t want to be police officers. They`ve heard all about the red-tape and bureaucracy and feel they can better server their ‘communities’ (and all the others) by becoming a doctor, or a newsagent, or a paramedic, or a Tescos store manager, or a pilot, or a racing driver. But then I`m surprised anyone wants to join the way things are just now.

    In my local Waterstones bookshop there are several copies of two books, written by (then) serving police officers, detailing the farcical fantasy-land that British policing has become.

    Statistically speaking, how many books like this were written before Tony and Gordon (and McNulty and Flanagan) got started on modernising the police service?

    February 12th, 2008 at 18:19

  6. Twining or Black in Blue says:

    It’s a flawed and unfair philosophy doomed to failure. The Chiefs think by changing the demographics of the service the culture will change.

    February 12th, 2008 at 19:22

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