Guest Article from Mike Speakman
Retired Deputy Chief Constable & For Britain Spokesman on Law & Order
The desire to increase minority representation in the police service is rising up the political agenda, again. I have lost count of the number of times the Home Office has believed the way to improve relations between the police and minority groups is to increase their representation. I believe this is a flawed response and the product of Cultural Marxism within the Home office. The Home Office is renowned as the most left wing and perhaps not coincidentally, the most incompetent ministry of government. I can testify from my own experience that they are obsessed with supporting minority groups based on ethnicity, drug abuse and sexual orientation. Bottom of the list are the law-abiding majority who just want the law enforced. Law enforcement is not a priority in the Home Office, it is full of social activists and the latest announcements about “diversity training” show that this is still the case.
I believe there is a perception held by a section of the public and the Home Office that there is a large pool of ethnic minorities who want to become policemen (and women) but the nasty racist police forces deliberately put obstacles in their way. Nothing could be further from the truth. The biggest obstacle to minorities joining the police are their own communities. They are perceived as traitors and quislings and if they live in those communities they often suffer from abuse and intimidation. A second reason is cultural. In the South Asian communities, policing is a low status job and poorly paid. That perception is imported by immigrants and there is little encouragement from parents who have ambitions for their children to become doctors and lawyers.
I have seen first-hand the abuse directed at minority officers when policing their own communities. Despite that I have also known some minority officers who have been superb police officers, but they do have a difficult time juggling their communities’ attitudes and their commitment to upholding the values of British policing. Two notable exceptions are Chinese and Jewish officers who will normally have the support of their communities.
Over the years the home office has seen the problem as the responsibility of the police and they have reduced many entrance requirements which they believe benefited minorities, such as lower physical and medical standards, education requirements have also been lowered to be almost meaningless and they have been very willing to compromise on character. Perhaps the most startling was in the 1990s. A standard part of any application to join the police used to be to visit the applicant at home. This allowed you to validate the address they had given and also to asses them in their own environment. The Home Office stopped this saying it was discriminatory against certain sections of the community who often moved between addresses sleeping on couches or with friends on an ad hoc basis. One of the fundamental requirements of policing is to be able to get hold of officers at short notice, maybe for emergencies or court appearances. The idea that it was acceptable that you didn’t know where to find an officer showed how naïve the Home Office was. Mobile phones may have now made this less of an issue but the underlying point remains, you need to know where officers live.
The imperative to recruit minority officers has had consequences. Forces are never allowed to talk of “quotas” and instead mention “targets” to reflect the local population. In order to please the home Office and Inspectorate, forces have compromised on standards to the point where they are fairly meaningless.
The whole concept of recruiting minorities is symbolic and a sop to Cultural Marxism. What we need are people who will fairly enforce the law and the colour of their skin is irrelevant. I am reminded of an event some years ago. I was commanding a racially “diverse” area which at the time was very much in the international eye from a policing point of view. We had a visit from a South African university professor who wanted to know how we policed the area, particularly with so few minority officers. In the course of our discussion it became apparent that she believed that only black officers could police black populations and I assumed this must be the case in South Africa. I responded that we would expect any police officer to provide the same level of service to anyone, irrespective of their racial identities. She was quite taken aback, and I pointed out that the implication of that assumption would mean we would need Welsh Police officers to police Welshmen and Scottish for Scots etc. A ridiculous notion.
The quest for minority recruits has damaged the police service. We have imported alien cultures into a British institution. I am aware of one very senior police officer of Pakistani origin who was sending his British born daughter back to Pakistan for an arranged marriage. This was prior to the Forced Marriage Act so probably was not illegal, but it does illustrate that in the attempt to fulfil “targets” (quotas) we have people who do not share our values and standards. We have a senior Metropolitan police officer who said he would join Black Lives Matter if he wasn’t a police officer. What does that say about his values? It also now seems that some minority police officers have also been involved in the grooming gangs in some of our cities.
The attempt to increase minority representation is flawed, what we need is policemen and women who share British values. The colour of their skin is irrelevant. Government obsession with “diversity” issues is counterproductive. Character not colour should be the test and not just for the police.
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