Non-discriminatory alternatives

The Police has long had an under-representation of women as well as from the Roman Catholic community. Females now constitute 22% of the PSNI and this is expected to rise to 26% by 2010. This is up from its Patten levels of 12.6% (a third of which was in the part-time reserve) and the growth is comparable with the improvement in RC representation. If the broadly same results can be acheived through other actions, why the need for the 50:50 rule? Comments switched off because of spam attack.

  • RepublicanStones

    are you suggesting that none of the increase in the female ratio is down to the 50/50 rule? Females can be catholics as well you know.

  • circles

    I had thought it was to ensure one community wasn’t effectively policing the other. Now call me naive, but there you go.
    Being from the RC community I find it something worth pursuing. What is the argument against FD from your point of view?

  • Or …

    If it is going to happen anyway, why gurn about the 50:50 rule?

  • Ulsters my homeland

    I had 2 female family members who were RUC officers during the worst of the troubles, both couldn’t cope with the stress of moving house time and time again when the IRA decided to target them, so they decided to retire from the force. I also had many male family members who were in the RUC and they reacted differently to the threats, they dealt with their family’s security proactively, rather than throw in the towel.

    Men police officers generally react differently than women when organised campaigns of intimidation are made against their familes, so it’s highly likely that the low numbers of female members during the troubles was directly related to the intense job the RUC had to undertake.

    The policing situation now in N.Ireland has changed for the better and it’s a good thing that it has the opportunity to recruit more women. Although men are better suited to deal with intense situations, like those during the troubles, there are specific roles in the force where women perform better than men, much in the same way Catholic officers will be accepted better in Catholic neighbourhoods than Protestant ones in the past.

    Even although the benefits female and Catholic members bring to the force are immense, I do think the 50:50(Prod/Cath) rule should be scraped because policing should never be about religion, it should be about law and order. To be a police officer it takes a special type of person and I’m sure the Catholic population in N.Ireland possess these qualities aswell as Protestants, if they’re given the chance. What we don’t need is an equality rule which actually disriminates against those able officers who just happen to be Protestant.

  • fair_deal

    RS

    Interesting point but I haven’t got the data to confirm or disprove.

    Circles

    “What is the argument against FD from your point of view?”

    The desired result, a more representative police service, can be achieved and can be done so without the introduction of discriminatory law.

  • Prince Eoghan

    >>To be a police officer it takes a special type of person and I’m sure the Catholic population in N.Ireland possess these qualities aswell as Protestants, if they’re given the chance. What we don’t need is an equality rule which actually disriminates against those able officers who just happen to be Protestant.<

  • fair_deal

    PE

    “is there any evidence that potential able officers who are Prods have been turned away on those grounds?”

    Yes there is evidence. This is not a theoretical claim of discrimination it is actual. The evidence is quite clear as the government admits it is happening when asked. The last figures I am aware of for suitably qualified ‘non-Catholics’ being turned away was 708 (May 2007)
    http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/local-national/article2568467.ece

  • Ian

    Are there any recent stastistics as to the Catholic: non-Catholic proportion of recent applicants, since SF signed up to supporting the PSNI?

    I seem to remember reading somewhere that the proportion of Catholicsto Protestants in the recruitment age range for new police recruits is pretty much 50:50.

    It could be that Unionists succeed in getting the 50:50 rule scrapped just at the point where it would actually start to be of benefit to the Protestant population!

    (I’m not suggesting that Unionists would necessarily support 50:50 recruitment if it worked the other way round in practice.)

  • Prince Eoghan

    Thanks FD.

    I would have to say that as we get closer to a representative PSNI then this current initiative would no longer be acceptable, and should be scaled back.

    Is there still a massively disproportionate amount of Prods applying to join as opposed to Catholics? Seems a terrible waste of suitable material.

  • FYI

    “I would have to say that as we get closer to a representative PSNI then this current initiative would no longer be acceptable, and should be scaled back.”

    Scaled back? Guess again. 50-50 will be gone by 2011, when the RC percentage passes 30%, as a consequence of the St. Andrews Agreement.

    Not a day too soon either!

  • fair_deal

    Ian/PE

    ” seem to remember reading somewhere…”
    “Is there still a massively disproportionate amount of Prods applying to join as opposed to Catholics?”

    There is something in the back of my head that the last recruitment tranche was up to 43% from a RC background. Don’t have the time to check right now.

  • circles

    FYI – “50-50 will be gone by 2011, when the RC percentage passes 30%, as a consequence of the St. Andrews Agreement.
    Not a day too soon either!”
    Why is that? Could you explain that a bit better? It sounds as if you wouldn’t even agree with the idea of less than 1/3 Catholics in the police force.
    I still don’t see the argument against it to be honest other than FD et al thinking its not a good idea. I could see that if you want to force to stay majority protestant it surely isn’t a good idea. The fact that the majority of applicants are still protestants is a relic of the times when the protestant community was policing the catholic community. Hiding behind the argument that correcting the discrimination of previous generations is resulting in discrimination is quite ridiculous.
    Those “other measures” FD is talking about to increase the number of catholic recruits – could we have some more info on those please?

  • nitpicker

    Circles, in your post you say that: “50/50 will be gone by 2011, when the RC precentage passes 30%, as a consequence of the St. Andrews Agreement”.

    I agree that the provisons should cease as soon as possible, if not now. However, I would like to point out that the termination of the provisions has absolutely nothing to do with the St. Andrews Agreement; despite DUP spin that this is the case. It seems to me that the DUP has been attempting to take credit for something (i.e. the ending of the system) that has absolutely nothing to do with them.

    In reality, the provisions were never intended to be anything other than temporary. The relevant statutory provisions are contained in Sections 46 to 49 of the Police (NI) Act 2000, which are grouped together under the heading “Temporary provisions concerning composition of the police”. You can find the legislation here-

    http://www.statutelaw.gov.uk/legResults.aspx?LegType=All+Legislation&title=police&Year=2000&searchEnacted=0&extentMatchOnly=0&confersPower=0&blanketAmendment=0&TYPE=QS&NavFrom=0&activeTextDocId=1754584&PageNumber=1&SortAlpha=0

    The provisions were initially enacted for a period of 3 years, and since then have twice been extended for two further periods of 3 years each. The current extension was granted by the Police (NI) Act 2000 (Renewal of Temporary Provisions) Order 2007 and is due to expire on 28th March 2010. This legislation can be found here-

    http://www.statutelaw.gov.uk/content.aspx?LegType=All+Legislation&title=police&Year=2007&searchEnacted=0&extentMatchOnly=0&confersPower=0&blanketAmendment=0&sortAlpha=0&TYPE=QS&PageNumber=1&NavFrom=0&parentActiveTextDocId=3341781&ActiveTextDocId=3341781&filesize=6555

    The Government has the power to introduce a further extension after that for another period of up to 3 years again. Before doing so, it will have to conduct a public consultation. But in my opinion there may not actually be any need to do this as the target of 30% RC representation might be achieved by that time anyway.

    Furthermore, the target of 30% has absolutely nothing to do with the DUP either. The target was set by the Government following the recommendations of the Patten Commission. Patten set a target of 15% to 30% RC presentation by saying that this was a “critical mass”. The level of RC represenation is already within the Patten target range. The Government, as noted in various statements over the past few years prior to St. Andrews, seems to have set its eye on 30%.

    Patten also determined that it would take 10 years for his model to achieve its “critical mass” target. The 1st 50/50 competition commenced in 2001. Therefore, the 10 year model takes that up to 2011. Therefore, Patten never intended the procedure to operate beyond 2011 anyway. So much for the DUP’s great victory.

    The Patten Report probably goes unread nowadays, but it can be found here-

    http://www.belfast.org.uk/report.htm

    The relevant section is Chapter 14

  • circles

    Nitpicker – it was FYI that said a about 50/50 and 2011 (post 10) – I was quoting him.

  • Nitpicker

    Oh, sorry about that Circles. In missing that detail I guess that I failed to live up to my own nom-de-plume.

    Looks as though I wasted my time posting my contribution anyway as this thread seems to have expired.