After Patten, ethnic quotas for British police..?

IN a speech to be given later today, Commission for Racial Equality chairman Trevor Phillips is likely to call for positive discrimination in favour of Muslims applying to join the police in Great Britain. In fact, he’ll describe it as a matter, not just of fairness and equality, but an issue of national security. Mr Phillips will cite the 50:50 recruitment policy the PSNI uses to further his point – which is a tad ironic, given that the 50:50 rule actually discriminates against ethnic minorities getting into the PSNI. Funny old world…Here’s a preview of the relevant part of Phillips’ speech:

In Northern Ireland, in order to integrate the new Police Service there the law had to be changed to allow the PSNI to recruit half of all its new recruits from the Catholic community.

“As a result, the Catholic contribution to the PSNI has increased significantly and this has changed both how that service treats Catholics and how it is treated by Catholics. I can’t say for certain whether I think we should go down this road; and if we do how exactly we’d do it.

“But I do know that we have to debate such measures if we are going to avoid the spectre of a mainly white security and justice apparatus policing increasingly aggrieved and hostile black and Asian communities.”

  • Sean Fear

    As a Londoner, my main concern is that my police officers should be as competent as possible – not what ethnic group they come from.

    This is a rotten idea.

  • Rory

    Well, this call by Phillips will certainly pour more oil on an already hotly smouldering issue, Within the last week we had a report from some police associated body (I’m sorry I can’t recall which one) that declared that police officers from ethnic Asian backgrounds were much more likely to be susceptible from corruption from members of their own community given the strongly knit social bonds and expectations of mutual self-help within those communities.

    In recent years there have been at least two cause celebre cases of quite senior officers of Asian origin being brought before discipinary committees on charges related to expense padding, sexual conduct unbecoming and other sorts of chicanery. The defence in both cases (one fellow was incredibly charged with distributing anti-Asian race hate-mail within the police precinct),mounted by the Black Police Officers’ Association, was that they were the victim of racist discrimination from within the police ranks and the findings of the Lawrence Inquiry of “institutional police racism” were much aired.

    Now with the Forest Gate fiasco to the fore we can expect more hot air than light to be brought to bear on the matter. This one could run and run.

    As a Londoner myself I agree with Sean Fear, we are screaming out for competence. The issue of police ill treatment of minority communities is a political matter and will not be solved by imposing quotas which do lend themselves to corruption – if you can’t sack a copper because it would reduce the quota level or if incompetents are to be promoted merely to meet ethnic quota targets, no one benefits. I also very much doubt that if there had been a representative group of Asian officers on the squad that raided the house in Forest Gate that it would have made any difference to the outcome. Or indeed that a Black or Asian officer would have been any less reckless in the fatal shooting of the young Brazilian man on London Underground.

    As to reassuring the minority communities I’m not so sure, if I am wakened in the middle of the night by burly armed policemen charging up the stairs I don’t think the fact that one was shouting “Get down you fuck or I’ll blow your brains out!” in an Irish accent would greatly reassure me.

  • surely you mant

    “After Patten, ethnic quotas for English police..?

  • surely I meant “meant”!

  • Brenda

    50/50? Are Muslums as an ethinc grouping 50% of the population?