Tuesday, April 16, 2024
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Inside our woker than woke police


The writer is a serving police officer.

IT IS a widely held belief that public bodies have, these days, been completely captured by woke ideology amid the ongoing culture wars. HR departments are having their collective heads turned by intersectional dogma and managers care more for what’s said about them on Twitter than they do in performing efficiently.

Particular concern has been focused on the police, which, as if to illustrate the point, now prefers to be called a service rather than a force. Some otherwise sensible folk are of the opinion that, surely, an institution which deals with catching often violent offenders and bringing them to justice simply cannot have been taken over by this quasi-religious ‘be kind’ zealotry? Unfortunately, dear reader, I’m here to tell you that it has.

Nothing illustrates this more clearly than the police intranet. To log on is to be presented with a meaningless word salad of corporate niceness, punctuated occasionally by an article on solving crime. What follows is a genuine look through the pages of my own force’s intranet.

It becomes immediately apparent that the organisation is obsessed with race. Or, more accurately, with having a police force which ‘reflects the community it serves’. This is one of the mantras of the modern police; it’s never questioned and is uttered as a universal truth. Why? Why does the ethnicity, gender or religion of an officer have to be same as a victim of crime? Surely that’s a whole lot less important than an officer’s ability to investigate the offence and engage with the victim in a professional, sensitive manner?

Well, no, apparently it isn’t. I’m looking at an article which shouts from the rooftops about the proportion of BAME recruits being successfully enrolled (and here I even see a mention of ‘blue sky thinking’). Numbers and percentages are declared like Soviet tractor production figures, though they’re reticent to publish the consequent disciplinary and misconduct statistics due to the lack of diligence in the vetting process. Such is the rush to make the force more ‘reflective’ that some individuals who should be nowhere near a police uniform or the attendant responsibilities find themselves with a whole load of power.

Not only is this dangerous, but it also means yet further possible negative publicity – as if we need it right now. It is also more than a little patronising to the communities which the police purport to serve as well as the officers in question, who know exactly why they’ve been chosen (yet again) to stand in front of a camera. But rest assured, as an organisation we are now looking at the disproportionate negative outcomes for those officers from ‘under-represented’ communities who fall foul of the disciplinary process. So if an inadequately vetted officer crosses a disciplinary or criminal line, it could still be down to some vague, institutional ‘ism’.

Scrolling a little further on, we get to gender identity. No issue in wider society seems to be further removed from reality than this, with some willing to turn biology on its head in order to come across as worthy. The police want to be on the ‘right side of history’ so they’ve subscribed to a good deal of this stuff. So much so that they employ the ‘Progress’ Pride Flag – the one with the BLM and trans incisions, where the old gay pride colours are becoming more obscured with each iteration. It has the ‘intersex’ circle on it, so we can demonstrate that an infinitesimally small number of people are also in our thoughts. We’re nothing if not current.

Some issues immediately jump out here. First, has anyone of seniority, or their advisers, actually looked at BLM’s website? This august group is, apparently, working for a world where ‘Black (capital B obviously) lives are no longer systematically targeted for demise’. Does UK policing really want to be associating itself with that sort of ridiculous and provocative language? It seems, as with many things, that this is a passing bandwagon which cannot be allowed to drive past without senior officers Fosbury-flopping on to it.

Granted, they haven’t gone full tonto and arrested J K Rowling, but there remains a link to the trans-supporting charity Mermaids website which, let’s not forget, has been challenged over, among other things, sending breast binders to underage girls without their parents’ knowledge, and having a trustee who was a child abuse apologist. That’s embarrassing for a police force and shows they care more about virtue signalling than what’s right.

Now we get to officers’ wellbeing. Seemingly, my organisation prioritises this. But, in among flyers for various webinars, we are signposted towards unconscious bias and trans awareness ‘sessions’. What have they got to do with an officer’s wellbeing? These sorts of things are, as yet, still voluntary, but the fact they are even offered is a worrying sign of things to come. How many people would feel empowered to refuse if they became compulsory?

However, when it comes to a real need to look after the wellbeing of officers, who may be dealing with extremely traumatic child abuse or terrorist cases, the police are found particularly wanting, as one is invariably offered a telephone conversation (what else?) with someone who cares only if you say you’re going to kill yourself (think of all the paperwork). Otherwise, it’s months of silence and corporate ineptitude, and one is very much left withering on the vine. As usual, the force talks the talk, but doesn’t even begin to walk the walk. I wonder what how differently they would react if one presented them with evidence of a racist micro-aggression?

I could go on, but I suspect you get the picture by now. It may come across as a cliché, but I really did join the police to help people and to bring serious criminals to justice. I have received a number of commendations and have worked with some truly fantastic people from a variety of ethnicities and backgrounds. Unfortunately, my organisation now seems to view people like me as a problem due to immutable characteristics.

In 2020, there were 160,000 police officers in the UK. One of them was a murderer and one was a rapist – that’s 0.00125 per cent of the workforce. This is not, of course, to minimise their crimes or the impact they had on their victims and families, but my fear is that if we choose to select and promote people due to what they represent rather than the skills they bring, that tiny number will inevitably rise.

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