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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, January 24, 2006

Canteen Culture

Is canteen culture to blame?

There's been two interesting reports in The Times recently that I haven't yet had chance to include here.

Canteen culture leaves a bad taste for many which describes how dropout rates among ethnic minority and female police recruits reflect the endurance of an unwelcoming and macho “canteen culture”.

And

Forces fail the equality test as women and black recruits quit which describes how record numbers of women and ethnic minority officers in England and Wales are quitting the police within months of joining, prompting concerns that racism and sexism are undermining the Government’s order to increase diversity.

These follow recent high level positive discrimination within the police service reports and the Daily Telegraph report titled Not wanted: white male police.

My experience is that the police canteen is no longer the 'hub' of station life. I don't know which part of the country or which police stations these reporters visited when commenting on canteen culture, but officers working the 'coal face' avoid the canteen like the plague, unless it's before 9am or after 6pm of course!

Officers that I know are running scared of 'ineffective' colleagues using the 'inappropriate behaviour' card against them as an excuse when questioned about their poor performance.

Lets face it, police work generally involves dealing with sections of the community that the average citizen would prefer not to see or know about. Some people be they male, female or undecided, white, brown, black, or yellow, upon joining the police service decide they'd rather not see the seedy side of life and leave.

If you speak to any officer with over ten years service they will generally blame recruitment, selection and training for the high drop out rates and poor quality of officers joining the police service. We're possibly failing in recruitment, we're possibly failing in selection and we're possibly failing at training.

Generally from my experience, the wheat should be seperated from the chaff at this early stage. Perhaps then the wastage of officers leaving after being 'expensively' trained and posted to station will be reduced.

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