More funding please…

April 5, 2007

Police Review readers last week will have noted the debate about disability and a hierarchy. It is quite ambiguous to suggest that Disability is on the lowest rungs of the Diversity ladder because what is perhaps implied is that race heads the top of any perceived hierarchy. Race is certainly not at the top of any perceived hierarchy and I will explain how and why I form this conclusion. How many enquires had the service had in relation to race? (1) Firstly Scarman, (2) Macpherson, (3) The Secret Policeman Documentary, (3) The Morris enquiry, and (4) The CRE Report of 2005. The systemic resistance to anti racism within the service is clearly evident because in the period between the race riots of the 80’s and 2005 police leaders have consistently failed race.

Note, I certainly am not saying individual officers of the PC or Sergeant rank failed, but when one becomes an Inspector delusions of grandeur and loyalty take over. Indeed these people have not by and large. Why then has race if race is perceived as being in pole position on a Diversity hierarchy? The answer is simple. Police Leaders have and STILL continue to raise the PR profile of race in terms of policies, yet the attitudes and behaviours of organisation’s resemble institutional racism. The BPA as an anti racist movement is not currently fit for purpose and this is evidenced by a rise in separate faith related police organisations focusing on difference rather than the common theme of race. A colleague referred to the use of “tokenism”, using a more acquiescing ear, as mere plantation politics and Senior Officer’s might contemplate this current analogy of “tokenism” to slavery. I am afraid the NBPA must take some blame also for allowing the abuse of BPA’s. It is a reality that even within the Diversity agenda there is some contempt for race issues. Even the GPA and NBPA appear lost souls, not recognising the significant differences between race and disability. But they continue to bark!

It is misleading and dangerous to imply that there is a hierarchy in diversity not forgetting that race leads to burning building, (riots), assaults and murders. Such implied views of a hierarchy are unfruitful and just show how far the selected few are behind in relation to the race agenda. This should then question their commitment. Interestingly the NBPA has lapped this up, (incompetence).

“A racist society has institutions which effectively maintain inequality between members of different groups, in such a way that the open doctrine is unnecessary, or even operated partly by individuals who are not themselves racist in their beliefs still have the effect of making and perpetuating inequalities….it is perfectly possible for an institution to be racially exclusive in fact without a single word or notice or an internal memo, or a constitution making this plain: it is indeed perfectly possible for it to be racist in spite of written statements and exhortations to the contrary.”

Such is the complexity of race relations that Dr Dunnett argued in 1973 that racism can be practised without a mutter of any racist words. It is unfortunate fact of racism therefore that people deem it necessary to even consider the position that Disability is at the bottom of any perceived hierarchy. The implied message is disturbing; that race gets some priority. Diversity should not be viewed in this way. Policing currently has significant race related issues, for example terrorism, immigration, racist murders, gun crime and the arrival of new minority ethnic communities? Our primary role is to police. I have long heard how other minority groups have argued that race is given an unfair advantage.

As I have argued, if race was given an unfair advantage, why are independent external reports condemning the police leadership and society for it’s lack of an anti racist stance? If independent reports consistently question us, then this shows that race is nowhere near where it should be and those crying wolf, including the GPA and NBPA, are playing a game of limited understanding. All this is, is an attempt to secure same funding, but with diverse needs and impacts that will never happen! After all, disability does not cause murder or riots.



  1. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz!

  2. What doesn’t affect you doesn’t affect you. In which case thank you kindly….Go forth and live in peace, and let me live in peace too!

  3. Black in Blue,

    There appears greater ignorance regarding race amongst my peers than there is, for example, homosexuality, and this seems to reflect the awareness of the local community where I am.

    So my question;
    Do you think the current attitudes to race and diversity within the police service are reflective of today’s modern society, do the police service need to “catch up”, or just start leading the way?

    Your opinion is respected, fire away!

  4. Anonymous said… Do you think the current attitudes to race and diversity within the police service are reflective of today’s modern society, do the police service need to “catch up”, or just start leading the way?

    Sorry, but I have heard this answer whilst delivering ‘The Training’ so many times and it is generally used as an excuse for bad behaviour. It is a crass response in my opinion for the public (that is all of them not just a select few) deserve a ‘Service’ that is not reflective of the intolerance of society but is reflective of what is best within society.

    The British public expends many billions of pounds of its Police Service, and the question has to be asked ‘Does it get value for money?’ The public are the shareholders in British Policing Plc and quite frankly I feel that individually we may well do a fantastic job (and I am aware of many examples of this) but collectively we fail to deliver an ethical and equitable Service to ALL members of the public ALL of the time and we are often driven into action or inaction by bigotry that is being expressed by the very public that we claim to serve.

    We are still too, embroiled with societal bigotry for ‘Them’ and ‘Those Types’ and need to do a lot better. Although there are many good and professional people within the Service trying their best to give an appropriate level of service to people dependent on their individual needs and expectations, the organisation as a whole is not engendered with these qualities and as such intolerance is the outcome.

    If we as an institution had a published charter that expressed the stance that the Police are guardians as well as servants of society sworn to uphold human rights then perhaps things would start to change. Our present oath of office does not really reflect the responsibilities of the Service in a multi cultural and otherwise diverse twenty first century society. Does it?

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