March 23rd, 2008

A Force fit for Heroes

Posted in The Job - Comment by 200

Another day, another story abiut the police turning down a potential recruit because of political correctness.

22-year-old Craig Briggs has been turned down by Greater Manchester Police (they’re the ones who are currently at least 1 under strength at the moment) because he has ‘England’ tattooed on his forearm.

Craig has wanted to join the police since he was a child, but was told to go & get some life experience – presumably because he wasn’t black, gay or female – so he joined Her Majesty’s armed forces in the Yorkshire Regiment. He applied to the police after serving 4 1/2 years including a tour in Iraq. He was asked to send in photographs of his tattoo & was later told he had been rejected by the recruitment department.

His rejection letters stated "Home Office policy precludes applicants with tattoos on lower arm, hand, face or neck that are prominent, which may cause offence and/or invite provocation from the public or colleagues.

He was told by the senior recruitment ‘consultant’ "A family who aren’t of English origin who see England on your arm could feel you might discriminate against them."

Presumably these rules have come from the same people who refuse to let people fly the Union jack from their house or office, want all nursery rhyme words changed & want to ban Christmas. The same departments who want us to celebrate diversity as long as it’s other people’s culture & not our own.

The consultant added "we live in a diverse society and try to ensure we give equality to everyone".

I wonder how equally Craig Briggs feels GMP have treated him.


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  1. chairwoman says:

    So Angry! When my Jewish grandparents came here from Poland in 1903, their aim was to ‘fit in’ as far as foreigners can, and to have an ‘English’ family.

    My mother and her siblings were ‘English’ to the core, my mother could never get used to the concept of Britishness, at her school, which was next door to St. George’s in the East Church in Wapping, where the vicar was beaten up and racially and religiously abused in his own churchyard last week, there was a huge mural of St. George slaying the dragon under the Union Flag, and the headmaster taught pupils, less than 20% of which had English born parents, to respect and love this country.

    As far back at least to Victorian times, there was an expression ‘An Englishman of the Jewish persuasion’. Well, I am an Englishwoman of the Jewish persuasion, and if people don’t want to be part of this country, and don’t like the name of our country or the appearance of our flag, then what the f… are they doing here.

    There are times when I wish my grandparents had chosen America, a place where patriotism is understood.

    March 23rd, 2008 at 09:38

  2. Civ_In_The_City says:

    It`s offensive, negative discrimination and quite shabby treatment.

    I could understand it if it said “Nazis are great”, or “Kill all non-believers”, or “Keep Britain white” (I`d be happy with “Keep Britain Tidy” though)

    When Mr Briggs was serving in Iraq he was demonstrating his fitness to be a police officer in the most direct and practical way possible, with his physical presence in a hostile environment. He literally put his own life at risk, ultimately, to protect the rights of Iraqis and us back home. All of us.

    There aren`t any other ways I can think of that someone can provide undeniable proof of their commitment to the welfare of their fellow human beings. Whatever their nationality, ethnicity, race, sex, religion or whatever other categories the ‘diversity’ industry feeds off.

    I think society needs rules, and if the rule was ‘no visible tattoos’ then fair enough. But the reasoning behind his rejection, that horrible, weak, pathetic catch-all “May cause offence” is unsustainable.

    When did ‘causing offence’ become the most serious threat to our society?, why must we protect against it to this extent? In reality it is the twisting of our culture and hard won laws into a ‘non-offensive’ jelly of appeasement that will ultimately do the most damage.

    The amount of good Craig could have done in his police career would outweight any potential offence many thousand times over.

    Muderers, burglars, rapists, drug-dealers and thieves are offensive. Tattoos are not.

    Oh, and add the GMP recruitment department to the ‘offensive’ list too.

    March 23rd, 2008 at 11:49

  3. nightjack says:

    The shabby treatment of this applicant hacks me off as well. I am not surprised though. I remember a response officer being banished to Comms a few years back for having a to-the-bone haircut.

    Our organisation has been running scared of being called racist for a long time. Its not even about whether we are racist anymore. Its about avoiding the perception that we might be racist. Well, some of us still are racist. Some of those racist officers will be black or Asian as well as white.

    I would welcome the day when we will judge a man not by the colour of his skin but by the content of his character. It was right when Martin Luther King said it. Its still right now. It still applies if the colour came on the end of a needle.

    March 23rd, 2008 at 15:48

  4. Twining or Black in Blue says:

    I cannot believe that a recruitment consultant said what is alleged here. Liberal donkeys! Not you 200 weeks. Just this whole situation. Home Office policy hmm.

    March 23rd, 2008 at 16:54

  5. Twining or Black in Blue says:

    There is no offence in what Booth appears to be showing.

    March 23rd, 2008 at 16:55

  6. ALAN ANDERSON says:

    I am now retired. I recall my sgt telling me to remove a small Union Flag pin from my tie as it may cause offence to minority elements of society. It`s gone mad now. On the same point the tatooes do look in the style of American gang bangers, maybe the young man should have thought about it first. I wish him well and am glad he is home safe. I spent 17yrs in the army and have also seen service in hot spots, there were 10 ex forces in my intake of 25 and all did well in their service.

    March 23rd, 2008 at 17:07

  7. Plodnomore says:

    Like Alan Anderson I am also an ex serviceman (British Army) and a now retired Police officer who feels he definitely got out at the right time. I have no tattoos but served in both organisations with those who had. Those Police offices who had them on their forearms always wore long sleeved shirts on duty so they couldn’t be seen. All it takes is common sense but then that is something which is banned from todays Police Forces (I hated the term ‘Service’ and refused to use it in either written or verbal communications). If Craig continues with his desire to become a Police officer then I wish him well. Perhaps some publicity about his situation in the local or national press may help?

    March 23rd, 2008 at 23:35

  8. PT COP says:

    Nightjack – 3rd paragraph – Spot On!

    March 24th, 2008 at 01:53

  9. blueknight says:

    A South American woman I met described me as looking ‘Very English’. I think it was a good job I joined the Force when I did for now I would not have been accepted in case my appearance was offensive to a minority…..

    March 24th, 2008 at 21:13

  10. TotallyUn-Pc says:

    Grrrr.. Its cringingly-blood-boilingly annoying. One of my ex colleagues did 14 years as a pc, then left on promotion to a bordering force. A few years later he applied to come back and he was refused for having tattoos. Tattoos which he’d had the first time he joined from years serving his country in the Royal Navy!

    March 25th, 2008 at 23:15

  11. Plodnomore says:

    I have just heard from an ex military mate whose son has just left the Army and had been turned down for a County force because of his tattoos (one on his shoulder (blood group) and one on on his calf). Apparently,once the force learned about him receiving the Military Cross for gallantry in Iraq, they sent a Superintendent and an Inspector round to his house to let him know they had had a rethink and he had been accepted. They actually disturbed him completing the forms for a Canadian Police Force which had willingly accepted him. A potentially good copper lost to the cause of Political correctness. My mate has told me that once his son has finished his training, he and his wife will be joining him.

    April 3rd, 2008 at 21:22

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