Archive for January 5th, 2010

January 5th, 2010

I don’t want to report a racist incident

Posted in The Job - General by 200

The one lasting legacy of the McPherson report into the death of Stephen Lawrence is that we have been forever damned into visiting the sins of the fathers on the sons.

Born of this was the  ‘racism card’ which is an epithet for a demand for action over & above what others are entitled to.

It means that if someone, in their dealings with an ethnic person mishandles the case or makes a mistake the only possible reason can’t be incompetence but must, de facto, be racist.

The government decided the only way to deal with such allegations was to unbalance the whole system & tip it towards more favourable treatment for victims who perceive their incident to be racist.

So we have a judicial system which punishes people more harshly if there is a racist element.

We record incidents as racist, whether there is any evidence that they are or not based simply on whether anyone thinks it might have been. This gives rise to the ridiculous situation of recording an incident as racist when the victim himself says it wasn’t but an uninvolved third party thinks it was.

I had an interesting conversation this week with someone who phoned up to report a road rage incident. Someone had cut someone else up in the town. The upshot was that both drivers had got out of their car & words were exchanged. It was a racist incident, by any definition, one bloke had raised a wheel  brace at the other driver, called him a nigger & told him to fuck off back to his own country, which happened to be England.

I called him back. He was driving through the county & not a resident of it & this causes problems when we have an incident our guidelines say is mandatory attendance whether the person wants to see police or not – it’s no longer their choice. He didn’t particularly want to see police, he was concerned that there was a potentially violent driver who, had they confronted each other a little closer, might have wrapped someone round the head with a wheel brace.

I asked him if he would be available to pop in to a local police station so we could take a report advising him that it’s our policy to record all racist incidents. His response, which was entrely accurate was ‘ I’m a bit concerned that you’re bothered more about the racist angle than you are about the threatening behaviour, I’m a big bloke, I’ve been called that before, I’m not bothered about that, I just don;t want anyone to be assaulted by this guy”.

And he was totally correct, we do place more importance on the use of a particular set of rude words than we do on things which others might consider more important.

It’s time we got back to treating every victim as an individual & not dealing with people by tick-box policing.