As a serving Police Officer, when I am out and about on the street, my only concern with many of my colleagues is “Will they have my back and do their job”. I don’t base this concern on gender, race or religious beliefs. I base this question on a simple ability to do the job at hand, to make reasoned and sound decisions and to be prepared, if it all went wrong, to to be able to fight your way to safety.
In my eyes it is fairly simple. You can either do the job or you can’t. You are either competent or you aren’t.
Back when I joined the job, the Police in the UK was in its last throes of common sense when it came to recruiting.
You got in and survived Ryton on Dunsmore because you were competent and able, both physically and mentally. However it wasn’t long before Positive Discrimination started to rear its ugly head.
The first time I became aware of this was when undertaking a bleep test because we happened to be at FHQ training. Now the pass standard is not difficult if you are halfway fit. I recall there was a female, clearly overweight by a long stretch, she managed to get to about 6 before calling it, puce in the face and throwing up. I was gutted that the PT Instructors had to give her leeway because of her size and gender.
Further down the line, we had a shortage of officers and for once, money in the pot to recruit. I knew plenty of men who were trying to join.
Unfortunately they were all between 20-30 and white. Each one I knew was clearly very competent and would have made fine Officers. However, someone in their Ivory Tower was on a mission to recruit people from the various ethnic minorities dotted around the place.
I have no issue with that at all.
I stand by Robert Peels principle that the People are the Police and the Police are the people. I believe it is essential to have a broad spectrum of different people within the Police, who each bring their own set of skills, knowledge and experiences to the table.
However, in their desperation to recruit from these minorities, corners were cut, fitness standards were dropped and very good applicants were told that because they were not from certain minorities, then they would not be accepted.
For some reason the Force was able to get away with it and even openly admitted they were practising Positive Discrimination. It was truly sickening.
The final straw for me, came at Janes Policing Awards one year in London.
One particular award was for Probationers of the Year and was solely a performance based assessment. You were judged on the amount of Lock Ups, Convictions Achieved, Intel gathering and the like. In all fairness it was a pretty cut and dry process along with a write up from your HR.
There was a whole list of the nominees and their achievements and some were good, some not so. And it came to the announcement of the ‘Winner’.
Prior to him being named, a list of his achievements was read out and to be honest, very very average. And then came his name. Almost unpronounceable by the then Minister.
He was a Nepalese fella, who barely spoke english and was the only ‘non english, non white’ nominee.
You could sense the bewilderment around the room. Now, I’m not knocking him personally or his ethnic background. He’s a cop, thats good enough for me.
What I am pointing out was a biased system bent in favour of Race and Ethnicity over true performance, for no other reason than to appease the Politically Correct minority.
I soon left the UK for other shores.
My current country of residence, NZ, had a good dose of common sense. However after seeing how many ‘Ladder Climbers’ had also joined, I was concerned that the same mindset would eventually appear here. It took a few years, but lo and behold it has.
We are now in an era of what I can only describe as hyper positive discrimination across many of the Government Agencies.
Several years ago, Corrections lowered their standard in an effort to recruit more Maori and Pacific people to their ranks. Nothing wrong with recruiting said people, but the lowering of standards had a detrimental effect. There is an infamous ‘Wing’ photo hanging in an office from the first wing of this ‘Experiment’. Nearly all of the recruits were either dismissed or prosecuted. That in itself tells a story.
And it has crept into the Police in a variety of guises.
It is a commonly known fact that if you are female, non white and ambitious, then if you wanted to go places, you will. If you screw up and are challenged, you simply have to throw those cards and you’re protected. It is something I have seen time and time again.
Even to the point of colleagues considering leaving because of bullying by minorities who themselves claim bullying when rightly challenged. It spills over to the whole promotion process as well. Now here you have to pass an exam and then be vetted to see if you are suitable for promotion. Essentially what this is in reality is to see if you are a yes man or woman and if your face fits the company profile.
What also bothers me is the propensity of Police to now recruit 18-19 year olds.
Now don’t get me wrong, some of them have great potential. However we know that physiologically speaking, their brain has even finished developing at that age. That coupled with the lack of any real world experience is I think, a recipe for disaster. I’m a firm believer that to be able to police effectively you need that experience.
Any of us, with an ounce of common sense, in the Emergency Services want is one thing, an ‘Oppo’ who is competent and can do the job. Nothing more, nothing less. I don’t care if your male, female, trans, Binary or whatever. European, African, Maori, Chinese or a three legged alien from the planet Tharg.
Can you do your job competently and safely without compromising safety, either of me, yourself or anyone else.
One day this will all come back to bite the respective organisations in the backside. However the people who will suffer are the Public, Colleagues and even those minorities who have had their careers built up on false illusions and aspirations, simply because no one ever had the balls to say “Sorry you are not good enough”.
I’ve probably upset a few people and rattled a few cages.
Well if I have, ask yourself why. I will work with anyone, no matter who or what you are. I really don’t care. I hope one day common sense will prevail, but I doubt it.
In the mean time life will go and the wheel will keep turning, it’s just the tire will be a bit flat.
Written by one of the many admins of Emergency Services Humour who is also a regular blogger in our fortnightly eMagazine ’S__ts & Giggles’ which you can sign up to by visiting our Facebook page and clicking on the ‘sign up’ button or by visiting: ShitsAndGiggles.Online
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