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Blues and Twos - Police & Law Blog is a an amalgamation of thoughts, feelings and observations on news, current affairs and UK policing in general. Our police blog has contributions from officers of the rank of Inspector (Organ Grinder) down to Constable (Monkey). Blues and Twos - The Police Officer's Blog

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Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Police Recruitment and Positive Discrimination

On the TV yesterday was a news item titled Force accused of discrimination, today the Telegraph reported the same news item titled Not wanted: white male police.

The thing that surprises me is that it's taken so long for this to be brought to the public's attention.

Postitive descrimination, or as it's known in the UK police service 'Positive Action' (see Positive discrimination? Oh you mean discrimination!) has overtly been the norm since the publication of the 1998 government report into recruitment in the police service and as a response to the Stephen Lawrence Enquiry.

Earlier reports also include

1999 - Police Recruitment Targets

1999 - Who will fit 'The Bill'?

1999 - Police must take 8000 extra from minorities

Further research on the positive discrimination / positive action reveals the following recent reports which at the time of going to press didn't receive a great deal of publicity.

Equal rights take a back seat

We need positive discrimination to meet targets say police chiefs

Positive Discrimination

White Man Waiting List For Met

One in three women favour positive discrimination in the police

Pressure mounts to recruit more ethnic police

Met Police 'Positive Action' team

Police Force Widens Recruitment

Police consider recruitment quotas

Police 'should favour black recruits'

Met to 'fast track' black recruits

Positive Discrimination Press Release - The Police Federation

It is commonly the norm for specialised units / departments recruiting from within the police service to hold 'open days' specifically for female officers or officers from ethnic minorities so they can 'familiarise' themselves with the specific units / departments prior to being called for interview. If you're not from one of the groups being catered for on these special 'open days' you basically have no choice but to 'go in blind' for the interview / selection process.

Generally the vacancy will read along the lines of the specific unit or department being under represented from members of a specific group(s) and that applicants from these groups are especially 'welcomed'.

Obviously they don't mention overtly that applicants from white anglo saxon males aren't wanted - You just kind of get that feeling when reading through the vacancy!

I'm a firm believer in employing people on merit and qualification not on gender, race or religion.

This used to be called the 'right man for the right job' - Now-a-days it is known as the 'right person for the right job'!

But on a serious note I think the public deserve to have suitably qualified officers dealing with / for them, not officers employed in positions just to make up quotas or to meet government targets.

Positive action / positive discrimination has been described in the past as demeaning racism as it sends a condescending message to minorities that they are not capable enough to be considered on their own merits.

If it was me I would hate to feel like I'd only got through the interview / selection process because of my gender or ethnicity. I'm sure the vast majority of the fully capable female officers and officers from ethnic minorites that I have had the pleasure of working with over the last 13 years feel the same way too.

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