Sunday, December 31, 2006
Sir Ian has done it again, in shirt sleeve order with no tie, and his bag carriers are now nowhere to be seen. I genuinely feel sorry for Sir Ian.Please find an extract: "Reacting to the tribunal's ruling, NBPA president Keith Jarrett said: "It is a blatant abuse of executive power. This is an attempt to undermine the NBPA and shows that racism is still very much alive in the Metropolitan Police."
I really don't like the way Ali has been treated by the Met. There are some shocking revelations. This really is a two tier system for Jarrett is a part of the problem. Jarrett and others like him are incompetent and play games with the subject of race.
The above individual has himself, Jarrett that is, in my opinion played the "race" card when, to gain a position of power for himself, he "culled" the legs of an honest and Senior member of the NBPA. He has done this twice to my knowledge. I have no doubt that Jarrett has been groomed.....but for what? Let's go back to the days of slavery, from whom did the slave traders purchase Black people? From other Black people of course....
I have seen a document written by Jarrett prior to him becoming the President of the NBPA. The document was an absolute whitewash, I can say no more about this document, and those members of the NBPA that took part in this "culling" in my opinion are not only ignorant, but corrupt. Why? Because the organisation has given them power, and they abused the power to the satisfaction of the organisation and to their personal satisfaction.
Keeping intelligent Black and Asian people under control is current race relations in policing and if Black colleagues are used to "cull", so what? My view is that this behaviour, the behaviour of some in power in the NBPA, this "culling" is immoral, corrupt and dangerous....I don't think Ali is like that though; there is a stark difference between Jarrett and Dizaie. Ali is intelligent and I certainly would not expect any support from Jarrett, in my opinion, can be likened to a barking dog, he might appear fierce, can bite, is easily led, but has no intelligence.
I accept that this is a blatant attempt by the Met to undermine the NBPA, but frankly Jarrett and his contemporaries have done a splendid job of this themselves. Chand described this behaviour when he referred to the Met, "untouchable and out of control" in referring to the treatment of Ali. I agree with Chand but remember Jarrett and those that groom others are untouchable. And these people know exactly who they are, they certainly are not my brothers or sisters, they are as racist as some racist White people I know, but it suits to have such an incompetent BPA because the institution can keep it on side when it wants and stuff it when it wants, and it will not know any better. Has Jarrett abused his executive power?
(This entry is dedicated to the officer whose legs were culled, and the stress that some in the NBPA movement have caused this individual).
Saturday, December 30, 2006
Go to this link folks:
Friday, December 29, 2006
Monday, December 25, 2006
Sunday, December 24, 2006
Mark Ramprakash has won the Strictly Come Dancing thing. Well done that man. He was picked off as a sporting cricketer at the age of 17. Mark Ramprakash is recognised as one of the most gifted and talented batsman of his generation.
I love Matt Dawson, in a non gay way, I am not gay by the way. But, Mark Ramprakash and others in his generation paved the way for the likes of Mahmood and Panesar. Indians or Anglo Indians and mix cultures in British sport is about role models and all this publicity will do Indo English race relations good.
We can't measure the impact I know. One thing I do know is that the likes of Panesar, Mahmood and Ramprakash are not sell outs, unlike some of my Black colleagues sitting in BPA's. So I am happy.
This is the question that needs to be tackled not bloody carte blanche, but in all cases. Just because it is Ramadan, does not mean I would tell my shift not to arrest for warrant, or for a crime. I am sorry. I might not arrest if the alleged allegations might be false, or it was going nowhere, for genuine reasons, but Ramadan, or Diwali are not generic reasons.
Of course, Areas where there are large minority communities might consider the implications and we do not want riots, but we are there to police, to preserve life and prevent crime. Any Management Team that thinks differently quite frankly are talking from their Colonial, I dare not say it. Think again, it is not about not arresting during Ramadam, respect for diversity is about not making monkey noises outside a Black man's cell, or, in other words whether we can treat people with dignity. Those Managers that think otherwise, I am afraid are dinosaurs and Colonial brats seeking promotions. To fear a faith or community is not the way forwards; in fact it is a dire step backwards.
And I am peeved to say the least, that these fools have the brain capacity to suggest race and diversity is about not arresting people during religious times. Inspector G, DC, PC Southwest, Panda, PC Bloggs, what is going on? Ali G even? And what do the NBPA think? My point exactly! Why are they not saying anything? Where is the guidance from the NBPA? There is no central or local guidance to challenge these absurd Management views. Inspector G, don't let me go on one please....You know my views....
Saturday, December 23, 2006
Have a read! I cannot understand under what remit this was handled or investigated. I do understand we might have to record homophobic and racist non-crime incidents, but how far do we go? Is this going too far? Why did those in charge not stop this going the way it did? The answer is simple, those in power assume those below them understand, whilst neither seem to have a clue.
Why then do we put certain Black people in power that do not have a clue? Views, for example, which might rightly stand against Islam, are viewed as Anti Islamic, and the views might be Anti Islamic, but if the views are Anti Racist, then it is Islam that has to move for the Anti Racist views not the Anti racist views, for Islam. One has to remember that Islam will not always be right and Anti Racist views will challenge any views that are racist. In other words the Islamic views might be racist.
Currently and wrongly within the NBPA, it is this way round for even in the NBPA there is a lack of understanding. Those in power outside of the NBPA don't care about these wrangling because they know that if the NBPA behaves silly and they have some control over it, then there will be no change in the status quo. This just shows how leaders have undermined race and diversity to political correctness gobbledegook. For years some of us have been saying to police leaders, stop playing games with the subject of race and diversity, don't go into denial, don't become defensive, and if you are going to train police officer's then do so with dignity and respect for the subject matter.
Instead they wish, some of us would just go away, they "shoo" us away and promote their prodigy. Were these people ever likely to pose a threat to the stability of a community? Could this have been handled differently? There is nothing wrong in recording matters, then we build up a picture of trends and intelligence, if there is any, but really was it so necessary to investigate and pursue to this extent? Any changes to the understanding of "race" and diversity inside the service that don't have a clue will allow us to do what we do best, and allow a decent memory to the lives of Lawrence, etc.
I have to say therefore that this type of change is tedious, menial and USELESS just like those that pursue these "tokenistic" gains. Again, where are the NBPA on this? Not a mention from them or sight or sound of them can be found on this matter. Still it's better not to say anything, that way, no one will know just how incompetent we might be hmm. No doubt some are slithering because inside the NBPA, HOMOPHOBIA is a bit of an issue. See some in the NBPA, and look closely, for you will find them, have actually sold their souls for a "sushi" number.
If you don't believe me find out what precise qualifications your NBPA Nat exec member has in race and diversity and when they came on board. Then ask yourself why, even within the NBPA, the established group, will out those that are Black, with a proven track record, but are genuinely working for and with the benefit of the service in mind. Your answer will lie in the fact that some are in it for themselves. THE NBPA ARE CURRENTLY NOT GOVERNED. IF ONE HAS A COMPLAINT THEN ONE MIGHT AS WELL WEE IN THE WIND.........
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
Thursday, December 14, 2006
There he goes just a walkin down the street,
It's fine; it's fine,you won't make me change my mind,
SHAKIN HIS BUTT AT THE NEW HOME SEC-RE-TARY,
Dis jobs mine,all mine.you won make me change my mind.
One year later he waddling down da street,singin, I gonna be the new Chief,I got Keith Vaz on ma side,so you can kick my pride, innit.
Den years later Muslim youth begin a fight.
Crying, dis ain’t fine,I must have lost my mind,
Singing I gonna change this crap i-eee.
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
I have a dream, where there is peace in Kashmir, where Muslims do not kill Hindu's and Hindu's do not kill Muslims. And they all together, Muslims and Hindus, do not rob foreigners, (the British), for their Nike trainers, Seiko watches and sterling. In India there is no such thing as harassment or equality. If you think you are being harasssed you go to your local police station, or local policing unit. You sit in front of the Inspector and give him your statement, your notes. He, the Inspector, has a moustache and a stick and wears "Brylcream just like me and Mr Ghaffur," but he does not smiles. No silly, not Mr Ghaffur. I don't have a moustache by the way. The Inspector wears stars on his shoulders, I say he, because there are very few she's. And if there were more she's they would kick butt, I tell you. He sits behind his desk and eats "pan" and sips tea. The complainant talks. The Inspector doesn’t listen, he just says, (hanji - yes - repeatedly). As if he’s interested! In front of him are his cells. Yes, they are HIS CELLS, not the custody officer's. What's a Custody Officer? You see, the Inspector is judge, jury and executioner for the time someone is in custody or eh-hum being tortured. And around the table with him are his CID . Their uniform is blue jeans, a checked shirt and a moustache of course. They are all playing cards whilst the man tries to make a complaint. There were no section 9 statements. There are not any. After a few minutes the Inspector rips the complaint up, waves his stick and hits the complainant on the backside as he is kicked out and told never to return. If this was in 1993 in the UK then he might have put the piece of paper in his pocket, just like in the Macpherson Report. Is this a way to deal with harassment I wonder? Hmm. Then a weary looking character walks in, he is Indian, of stocky build, has a shaved head, and he wears a"tilak". He just sits down as if he owns the joint. And no, whilst he wears a "tilak" he is not a priest! Argh !!!! I think. This is my worst mightmare. He’s the local mafia dressed up as a priest. He pays the Inspector, they smile, and two scruffy looking detainees are released to harass others so that the bald man can continue to demand money by menaces. Who else is in the cells I wonder? Unsurprisingly, huddled in the corner is a meek and vulnerable man, who probably is renting a home, and is as honest as the day. That is the person that was in the cells, and he will be there until he can pay the Mafiosa boss off or until his family can. That is the way it works. The poor remain poor. Whilst at home his wife and children will be worried. The "Mafia" man walks free. I know whose butt I would like to kick! And I will tell you more of what butt I have kicked when I was out there, and boy was it good! I did nothing unlawful I will have you know!
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
I have met Ali many a time. He may have made mistakes but genuinely I do not believe him to be corrupt. He is an intelligent and outspoken police officer. I heard on the news that his phone was tapped. OK, I understand allegations of corruption, but actually there was no CORRUPTION. I wonder what confidential information the Met Police now have about the state of the NBPA and the advice given to those that Ali was supporting. It is so easy for the mainstream organisation to allege that individual support groups are corupt.
Can the service give any promises that confidentiality will be maintained or will they be laughing at the internal wranglings within the NBPA movement? Don't get me wrong.
As stupid as it may sound, remember the shooting of the young Black man in the West Mids as a result of an attack on two Asian males, following on from last years disturbances. I feel some of these, like the young Black man that was shot are innocent victims of hatred. I don't know if this man has previous. But, we should have been able to sense this tension.
Our PCSO's and local officers will feel this same tension in the community the same time probably next year. What we must do is engage the community. That means we get into shops, we mix with all communities, we identify troublemakers, we get to know everyone, it is a hard role, but it is key policing, not detection chasing. This is about proactively preventing race hate crime. OK, we can flood the area, but that might not be the answer.
Sunday, December 10, 2006
It's pretty simple. Firstly your Chief must agree to release you before you can stand for election and you have to be on the National Executive. To get onto the NEC, National Executive that we call it, your local executive must vote you in. Interesting concept. Who thought about this silly idea that one's Chief has to release you before you can be elected? This is a good example of equal opportunity, not! If you are likely to rock the boat and not compromise on race issues, forget it, you are out.
(c) Then there are those that do nothing. They have no clue why they are there. They just "exists" because someone is likely to get promoted on the back of these things: you know , if they set up a BPA.
Well, I know Black officers who attend the federation Conference for a "piss up", these are the same people that have career BPA goals, but end up on the same "piss up." Not all BPA members are interested in "jollies."
I think you just need to look at the historical make up of the NBPA. In positions of power you will not find many Asian colleagues, and that is because there is this old institutionalised practice called "grooming." One person or a group of people within a group "groom" the next leader. nd the next leader is "groomed" not on skills, abilities or qualifications. Most of the qualified people are left out as I have said, the next leader is groomed on how they compare to the person that is "grooming " them, in terms of an understanding.
This is just a brief insight. I am not saying that the NBPA is bad. What I am saying is that it could get it's act together, but dinosaurs refuse to move on. Where have I heard that one before? Hmmm.
Saturday, December 09, 2006
Friday, December 08, 2006
I have just received valid information that Police Powers are to be amended yet again in early 2007. These powers update the Criminal Justice Act and some powers affect searches and anti terrorism. I note just recently in some Forces SOCAP was multi media trained. People don't read multimedia, they want to know what the changes are? How they affect them? And what they can do, and they need examples, basically they need a briefing or some training up front intervention. Folks, what do you think? How will these changes be delivered? What is the best way to deliver new changes to powers? HELP!
Thursday, December 07, 2006
It's a dinosaur type leadership I am afraid. It lacks courage and "oomph." Hmmm, and I wonder now how the bag carriers feel because actually these people who have since been promoted and are now the new elite are probably just like their, then, managers? Morale appears to be at an all time low.
Why do leaders behave like this and why is morale so low? Moving off the point, did you see those 36 year olds in Take That dancing. They moved some booty. And even more to the point when will Gadget an DC write in my blog?
Monday, December 04, 2006
Thursday, November 30, 2006
Is your focus the groups of youths gathering further down, and what they might be doing? There is plenty of police activity where the youths are and that is where we are naturally focussed.
The Asian youth, is still about 300 yards away from you, is stopped by three White youths, one of whom tells the youth to go back to his own country. The youths stands and one of the white youths throws two punches at the Asian youth. The second makes contact. The Asian youth reacts to the racist abuse and violence and a scuffle takes place. The White youth backs off.
- What could have happened had the Asian youth not defended himself? You actually didn’t see any of this because you were concentrating on the groups of youths.
- Can we work better? Can we work smarter? Is there anything wrong in approaching youths in a minority if they are alone. Do we need to alter our focus of patrol sometimes?
- Do you think the Asian youth might report this incident?
- So are there issues in Areas where Asian youth are a minority?
- The youth is British born. What view might he have of the police?
How can we change these views?
- What would have happened if we had just seen the Black youth hit the White youth, with one White victim and two witnesses?
In short what I am saying is, we can be more preventative, if we change our focus sometimes. Racism can exist anywhere, not just in areas where Asian people are in a minority. Views please.....Asian youth born here are now fighting back, it is our questionning skills and integrity that might save innocent victims from being criminalised.
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
The books are out of supply and we have just heard that one Senior Officer's were caught in the locker room at a busy police station trying to get hold of a copy of this book. As the officer was caught in someone else's locker, he had committed, an crime of attempted theft. He was duly detained. On interview he cried, and said he had no intent to deprive, he just wanted a copy for himself. He pleaded for a PND so the story goes. Instead the officer was then issued with an admonishment from the DCC. Story has it, the DCC asked if there were any spare copies going for free. In a conversation between the two it is believed that both met later and went on to ebay where the books were going at £100 a time. Meanwhile ACPO were to hold an urgent meeting on the impact of this book. Sources nearby said, the meeting rooms were filled with grunts. An ACPO press release read. "We are currently reviewing this book." End of newsflash.
Monday, November 27, 2006
As I was having my breakfast I thought what would a progressive Police Force look like in terms of senior people. I have gone for my taste or lack of it in music to find these leaders. For starters I would want Bob Marley to be the new Chief Constable of this Force. And this has nothing to do with cannabis; I have never tried it. Marley knows right from wrong and I love his dreadlocks. Can you imagine all the Senior team having to take on Marley's accent innit, "One love." Then as the DCC I would want that guy, who sang, "hit me with your rhythm stick, hit me, hit me." Because if I did do something wrong, I would be hit and then we move on, no grudges would be held.
So I have two have to Assistant Chief Constables. Blondie, Madonna, or Lulu I am not sure has to be one, because they are young at heart. And I met LULU too, she was great! The other ACC would have to be Bruce Springsteen. He would be in charge of crime. So would the HR Director be? I am going back to the guy who sang, because now I am totally confused, "hit me with your rhythm stick, hit me, hit me." I have never met such a group of people as some in HR!
So let me revert my decision, my new Deputy Chief Constable would be Freddie Mercury up there, because I love him, and we should be able to love our DCC's. So folks, what initiatives do you think some of these people would bring to the table in relation to ASBO's, fixed penalty tickets, sanctioned detection's, Area Management meetings, etc. etc.etc.
Saturday, November 25, 2006
People laugh at Monty Panesar’s fielding. Some say his batting is weak, but this man and his colleague Mahmood have done wonders for race relations and, er-hum, English cricket of course. I say, if Geoff Boycott likes him, then I do too. Some even Laugh at Monty's "comical" celebrations, but they criticise his celebration. That is just how you would celebrate if you were in East Africa let me tell you. I find him hilariously funny. At work, I told colleagues that Monty reminded me of the character in the film, "The Jewel of the Nile", he was the Jewel, and Monty is a Jewel.
You know the film with Michael Douglas and Sharon Stone and that comical short fellow from the film Matilda. Me, I laugh with Monty, not at him. He has brought the wonderful game of English cricket to life with his enigmatic celebrations. Go Monty Go. Yo Monty, Yo Monty. This man will make such a difference to marginalised youth. I have to say that those Islamic people that referrred to Mahmood as a traitor, were not only out of order, but racist. Why? Because they could not deal with their own prejudices. Go Mahmood, go. These guys will be a Force in English cricket. I reckon I saw Monty on the motorway, but cannot be sure. The number plate on a Merc, a bloody big Merc, it read M8 NTY I think, damnded if I'm checking PNC though. No way!
In a CMC type department one person today suggested that the job had changed them. They were down and out. The negativity got into a bundle of happiness, not! I then spoke to the Police Officers in my team and took time off. I escaped, for a few hours. Is it me I wonder?
Friday, November 24, 2006
We can only carry on; the title is not tongue in cheek at all, but deliberate. We must celebrate the lives of Stephen Lawrence, this other lad, forgive me I do not know his name, and the 15 year old White Scottish lad whose life was also taken by racists. We must remember as if these were our own children.
Thursday, November 16, 2006
But really do police blogs cause problems or are they the way forward? Looking at Gadget, and others, I think they are great.
Saturday, November 04, 2006
New, academic and intelligent racism is what it is known as. Some describe it as "stealth" racism, but those that have ridiculed the recommendations of the Macpherson and Cantle Reports simply continue to deny the existence of any form of racism.
Our police leaders and leaders of most public sector organisations know full well that racism is outside of their experience, and the public sector, e.g. Social services, NHS, the Home office, etc are the worst culprits for this breed of racism, and believe me, it is abhorrent. Their denial is their incompetence.
On the one hand their leaders sell to the community their race and diversity strategies as encompassing diversity, yet on the other some individuals inside these organisations that are supposed to own the principles behind race equality, simply refuse to do so.
On the other hand they fight tribunals vociferously and with power. Racism is not the same as being different because one is left handed or because one is deaf. Issues such as what hand one write with or one’s difficulty in listening can be hidden well, and just as racism is, these issues our based upon what the "other" actually observes in those that have these difficulties. Indeed most people will not consider it a detriment to employ a left-handed person or someone that is deaf. Employing and promoting intelligent Black people that are seen to stand up for their rights, however, is a big no no, so why not marginalise them.
One does no suggest that people simply always deliberately undermine intelligent Black people, some do, others however just will not allow Black intelligent people the freedom they deserve. Racism is in your face. As the example of Ali Dilzaie has shown one cannot be Black, intelligent and attractive, But Black people are hardly able to camouflage their appearance, and where they have, like Michael Jackson, they are ridiculed further. Racism is simply outside of the interest, understanding and experience of not only current police leaders, but of the leaders of other public sector organisations and of faith organisations also.
Do some Muslim and Indian people care about anything but "their own?" Yet these are the people the service largely consults with. For example, the initial reaction towards Macpherson from some inside the police was shock that the police had been found out. Upto this point the police service kept this taboo hidden. The secret Policeman Documentary was no different. Initially the shock of real evidence of racism inside the police was enough to put Police Leaders on a back foot. Some still think it can never happen in our back yard, but does it not happen everywhere?
Not only are departments able to deselect those individuals with a "racialised" experience who are considered radical, "vociferous", "intelligent." But these and others departments are also able to then choose which Black colleagues they wish to do business with. The choice for Black people is therefore very clear, acquiesce and you will progress, toe the party line and things will be fine. Many Black people simply toe the line, and they are loved and listened to because they simply state what Managers wish to hear. But at some stage after dealing with and supporting Black colleagues that have experienced racism, these same colleagues might just stand up, and when they do, they no longer are a safe pair of hands.
All of a sudden these once trusted individuals begin to speak outside of the majority norm, and so development in race relations in most public sector organisations is actually rather surreal, the reality is strategies and policies have had little impact on the attitudes and behaviours that cause racism. Of course any blame must lie with Leadership because these leaders refuse to acknowledge that they are actually dealing with something they cannot understand. Of course racism is about feelings, it is about attitudes, some of it is about behaviours, and only a small proportion is about perception. Yet, what organisational leaders do is blow this perception angle out of all proportion. The truth is that anyone that expresses that they are experiencing racism is actually experiencing racism but leaders just dismiss this as perceptions.
The problem with strategies and policies are that young marginalised Black people and minorities have grown up with the experience of racism and they can very acutely see through these organisational falcities. But leaders simply think these kids are unintelligent. A further problem with this inside policing is these same Black people will identify Black colleagues that are "tokenistic" and are used by the organisation in this way. For a police organisation and for society falseness led to the race riots of the 1980’s, falseness led to the riots in the North and continued falseness will end in the same place.
But for an organisation that wishes to embrace anti racism and diversity there is a way forwards, and that way is to incorporate a structural overhaul and principles of honesty with the community. But oh how this remains a distant dream. And in short, "stealth racism" is about us saying we are achieving when actually behind the scenes we do everything to ensure anti racism does not succeed. This is about getting personal with racism, racists and bigots.
Friday, November 03, 2006
I advised him that change causes discontent, that this is something colleagues must accept, that colleagues were a little peed of with the fact that they were not being remunerated for the changes in their function, and that we needed more staff. I then sat down to eat. The senior officer sat down with his senior colleagues. I have bat ears you see.
I heard the colleague say, "I was just getting some inside information" or something similar. Yeah right...........What planet ere they on? (Number 1 engage.)
They must think we are deaf, Black and unintelligent! His team was the boy's brigade I think, the senior think tank.....Are these people capable of being honest I wondered? Probably not.
That person just spoilt my desire for chips.....
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
He said he had heard that Stephen D had died a few years ago. Then there was a moment of relief for me, then there was nothing. All three of us were talking, both are good colleagues of mine, and they are not Black. For a moment I was shocked about Stephen D, but my colleague reminded me.
He said," He absolutely hated you, even when you weren't in work, he would give you racial abuse." (That's a first, I wasn't aware of that. Actually I was.) He said, "Do you remember the day he tried to "piss" on you?" I said, "yes, he did wee on me."
My colleague said, "He hated you." Whether he said he wanted to kill me, as in Stephen D, I cannot recall, but this character, for the colour of my skin really hated me. I saw him a couple of times off duty when I was walking with the kids. He must have been drugged up. He was the other side of the road, about 50 feet away. My children were young, only 4 and 6 at the time. My wife was with me. I ushered them away.
I remembered then as we sat and chatted in the canteen how evil this Stephen D was, and thankfully my colleague who I admire, love and respect, who is really no different to me, remembered the very dangerous, racial abuse I suffered.
If Stephen D flipped he was likely to seriously injure someone, a police officer probably. He was racist, violent and a druggie. On another occasion I do recall an associate of this Stephen D. I was always reasonable with him. He was 6' tall and blonde. He categorically said to Stephen, "leave him be." I asked him why he did this, and he shrugged his shoulders. Twice when I have met this nominal we looked into each other’s eyes, and I thanked him. Maybe he saved me from serious injury, who knows?
Friday, October 20, 2006
I do not advocate that the IPCC, just like the police service does not make mistakes or gets things wrong, (incompetence), but historically the police service as an organisation has never on it’s own owned up to it’s own failings particularly where racism is alleged and the organisation worries appears to concentrate it’s efforts on preserving the "good" name of it’s Senior Managers and the possible career costs of a failed litigation, rather than the truth of what has actually occurred. Not only this but investigations are often very white ethnocentric loaded. I would agree that the IPCC can be criticised quite rightly in relation to the Stanley case and the treatment of Inspector Sharman and his colleague, but the IPCC were not the only organisation at fault here.
The execution of a power of arrest remains a police decision and the police service must take some criticism. The protracted enquiry was not therefore just as a result of the IPCC alone. In the race for accountability professional standards departments have kept reasonably quiet over the outcomes of the Stanley case. In the case of complaints made by members of the public where serious misdemeanours are alleged, officers from these departments have historically acted in an oppressive manner towards police officers, even when there is little evidence of malice on behalf of the police officer being questioned.
And some police organisation’s have taken pride in the strength of oppressive investigation’s but these same organisation’s have in effect abused the Human rights of some police officers. The fact is internal complaints systems simply do not work for marginalised communities where racism is alleged. They never will. If the Metropolitan Police Federation is keen to take up the case of the impact of the IPCC investigation on officers then some criticism must be levelled at the Metropolitan Police and the most Senior officer in charge of the incident involving Inspector Sharman.
The IPCC in it’s report writing have created the impression that the account of the officer’s involved in the incident might not be credible because joint notes were made, but joint notes are a recognised practice. This then left a question mark over the officer’s integrity, a question mark that has proven not to exist. However, what is sadly evident in Mr Smyth’s argument is the inadvertent suggestion that comparisons can be made between the IPCC handling of both the Stanley and the Alder cases.
The Macpherson Report was described in 1998 by the then Home Secretary, Jack Straw, as a watershed in policing history; and it was this report that defined "unwitting" racism. It would appear from the stance that Glen Smyth appears to have taken that some in the police organisation and some in the Police Federation still, despite the wealth of evidence provided since 1998, continue to deny the existence of both "witting" and "unwitting" racism inside the police service. "Unwitting" racism is not about any guilt, yet we appear to make this assumption that it is. "Unwitting" racism does not necessarily make colleagues guilty of deliberate and intentional racism.
On the contrary "unwitting" racism is born out of our mistaken beliefs and upbringing, our prejudices, our attitudes and values, the manner in which we are all brought up differently and how our views impact upon our decision making and the manner in which we deliver a service to visible minority ethnic people of colour. Often "unwitting" racism shows in a lack of care and/or neglect. One of the reasons why we fundamentally do not understand this term is because the organisation has not taught us the truth of what it is and any training that has occurred has perhaps been ineffective partly because of the poor quality of the training but mostly because of this culture of denial.
As a Home Office qualified Race Relations Trainer I have delivered training and have witnessed courses in "race" in the Metropolitan police and I am very aware of the poor quality of this training nationally. Ours, the services, has been a continuous knee jerk reaction to allegations of racism. In other words we are reactive as opposed to proactive in the field of "race" relations. I have also experienced Centrex's attempts to deliver specific training to Black staff in relation to leadership. And this intervention for example has now been replaced by the PALP, but it focuses on the wrong issue totally. The course still assumes that Black officer’s require leadership.
The faculty’s focus should be the system because it is the system that is failing; it is not Black officer’s that are failing. Frankly some of us do not require this type of corrupted leadership or game playing. The fact is this course is still rooted in a Colonial mentality, which not only does not teach "race" because Black officer’s can also practice racism, but worse still, this course prescribes the maintenance of the status quo and assists in the maintenance of this culture of denial. Our courses post 1998 are nothing more than reluctant "have to do" issues. Such reasoning for training if it has been adopted nationally in this way, is perhaps a reason as to why racist behaviour still continues. In short, if we are to change things then training needs a radical overhaul from the perspective of those that have suffered racism.
For training the answer is quite simple, employ Black and visible minority ethnic people not because of their colour, but employ those with the required skills and abilities that can deliver training that is effective and allows colleagues an opportunity to not only understand there fears and prejudices, but allows colleagues to understand when these prejudices may result in them stereotyping. Training should also allow officer’s an opportunity to be comfortable enough to challenge these behaviours in themselves and others. It is a fact that the core tenets of "race" training that might actually give us some credibility are still largely ignored by Police Leaders and this is a deliberate act. Training is only one component of failure, HR is perhaps another.
As a service we cannot therefore blame the Lawrence or Alder family for our own failings. The HMIC, the Home Office, the BPA’s and the NBPA have all allowed these failures to sometimes go unchallenged as individuals within core irrepective roles have equally acquiesced through fear or through a desire to remain in post. "Race" is therefore not an intrinsic and natural theme running through the organisation because we simply do not have people with the right experience in relevant departments. What Mr Smyth and others do not acknowledge are the stark similarities between the Macpherson Report and the IPCC Report into the death of Christopher Alder. For example. (1) Both cases have had a lengthy inquest, (2) both cases have had a criminal trial, (3) both cases have had a heavily criticised police disciplinary hearing and other related legal proceedings. There have been two failed police investigations into the Alder case. And it is suggested that The Kent investigation in relation to Stephen Lawrence colluded against anti racism. (4) None of the internal or external police enquiries, e.g. The Kent or Sussex enquiries have made any mention of existence of racism. Only independent enquiries have acceded to the existence of any racism. It is clear that for Black people that the existence of a body like the IPCC is absolutely fundamental to the future of race relations in this country.
Mr Hardwick has indeed made some very frank comments in relation to the death of Mr Alder. For example he stated, "There is no doubt in my mind that the events leading to and following Mr Alder’s death represent very serious failings by many of the individuals and organisations involved – but the process that followed did not hold any individual responsible for these failings. No individuals have been held responsible – yet all of those involved, family and police officers alike, have, to a greater or lesser extent, been punished by the process itself." Is this not balanced?
Mr Hardwick and the IPCC clearly intimated that there were organisational, in other words "institutional", failings. The IPCC also made one pertinent comment that is still far-reaching and still conveniently lost by commentators like Mr Smyth. "I believe the recommendations of the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry need continued attention and powerful leadership in all police forces." This statement is, in my opinion, further damning evidence that the subject of "race" and relevant interventions have been severely watered down since 1998 when the Macpherson Report was published. Then what followed was Secret Policeman documentary and the Cantle Report looking at the Northern "race" riots, and finally the CRE investigation into racism inside the police in 2006 which identified "ice at the heart of management." It is of no coincidence that an attack on the IPCC in relation to the Alder case is being used and supported by the IPCC failings in the Stanley case to undermine the IPCC’s observations of racism inside the police service.
By far the most remarkable statement that the IPCC made in relation to Mr Alder was: "However, eight years after Mr Alder’s death and despite so much grief, pain, anger and confusion it remains the case that no-one seems prepared to accept responsibility for what went wrong. That at least should now change. The failure of those officers on 1 April 1998 was disgraceful. That should have been said eight years ago. The Chief Constable of Humberside Police should offer an unreserved apology for the force’s failings in relation to the death of Mr Alder and he should do it now." The facts are that it has taken to independent reports, one by Lord Macpherson and one by the IPCC in relation to Mr Alder to reveal the whole truth about really happened to these Black people that died because of the colour of their skin.
The fact that the Metropolitan Police Federation remain strongly in denial in innapropriately referring to "unwitting" racism as a non existent factor by comparing the Alder case to the Stanley case is as bad as the IPCC intimating that the credibility and integrity of Inspector Sharman and his colleague should be questioned because they made joint notes. The Metropolitan Police’s stance and the lack of direction from the Diversity faculty of the police service in this whole issue is an affront to many of us, some of whom have teenage children who are minority ethnic and who will inevitably be stopped by the police. Perhaps we still hope that young Black people will be treated with some dignity in the future but this is our continual hope when Mr Smyth and others dismiss the IPCC report into the death of Christopher Alder.
Actually what has also been conveniently missed by Mr Smyth are the stark similarities between the treatment of the Lawrence and Alder family, even though there is a substantial time difference between 1993, the death of Stephen Lawrence, and 2006, the publication of the IPCC report into the death of Mr Alder. In the case of Mr Alder making monkey noises is not "unwitting" racism. Shortly after the IPCC published their findings in relation to Mr Alder, the Chief Constable of Humberside Police apologised to the Alder family. And sadly this is the problem. This apology was too little too late because by omission the Force had allowed Institutional racism to breed in the time in between. In this debate if the police service continues to deny the experience of Black people then it is contributing to marginalising the same communities it is trying to recruit from and police.
And the resultant reaction form Black people might well be so devastating that we as a service may experience riots similar to those of the 1980’s. As such it is my opinion that The Police Federation and Police service must be absolutely clear on what message it is sending out. Whilst the IPCC can and should be criticised because of the manner in which Inspector Sharman has been so badly treated, so should the Metropolitan police; but this is no reason to criticise and undermine the IPCC report into the death of Christopher Alder, nor undermine the term "unwitting" racism. Not only is this stance a sad reflection of our professionalism as a service but it is a blow to any of our efforts to promote "race" equality. There are only two positions, racist or anti racist. Unfortunately the Metropolitan Police Federation’s stance is sadly racist.
From the motions considering extending the family of the Police Federation to the debate about "workforce modernisation" to the issues surrounding the possibility of amending section 3 of the Criminal Justice Act to provide an indemnity to those firearms officers who use reasonable force to nullify the threat of an offender in circumstances where the offender is fatally killed.
From the debate about science and how it can help provide reconstructive evidence which supports the honest views and observations of those colleagues caught up in the stresses that such incidents may cause, there was one theme which focussed all of these debates and one theme only: the office of Constable and the uniqueness of policing as a profession.
The conference viewed the recent bold moves by Government ministers to modernise the police service in to a model that of "effectiveness" and "efficiency." Dr Reid suggested that those that had intimated that the police service was the last unreformed public sector institution did not understand policing. Conference stated clearly that the development of a two-tier service was compromising the delivery of 24/7 policing, and even when prolific offenders were placed before courts, little action was taken, only to leave these offenders to commit crime again. The message from conference to the Home Secretary was clear, please get you own house in order first. The new Home Secretary listened attentively on.
Whilst the Home Secretary’s views and acknowledgement of the incompetence within the Home Office caused murmurs and ripples in the corridors at Bournemouth amongst Senior Civil servants present, Dr Reid’s position was realistic and honest. A separate lecture by a Professor from Keele University made it categorically clear that there was one aim in the minds of reformists. And this aim did not necessarily mean a better police service, some reform appeared to merely mimic a cost cutting exercise and did not mean that the public will get the same level of good service that it currently gets or even a better service. On the contrary there were genuine fears that Home Office reform and beaurocracy would reduce sworn police officer numbers by 25,000 officers; and this revelation received wide and damming media coverage the following day.
The IPCC and Nick Hardwicke received a hard time as the rank and file showed their discontent in the manner in which the IPCC conducted some of their investigations and published their findings, in particular in relation to the Stanley case and the impact this had on two firearms officers. The IPCC report had left an open question mark over the integrity of the two officers and this was as a result of some of the words the IPCC had used when referring to the fact that the officer’s completed their notes together. Although the officers are now fully exonerated the words used in the IPCC report did not reflect a complete exoneration. The presumption that officer’s involved in fatal shooting incidents are automatically treated as suspects was put before Leicestershire’s DCC. (Perhaps there is learning for all Professional Standards departments). And his position was clear and appropriate for the IPCC; he intimated that the issue of joint note taking might well have been better placed by the IPCC in another arena and not this report.
The officer’s in this case had suffered unnecessarily. Nonetheless, conference requested that consideration should be given to the IPCC being monitored independently because of it’s inexperience. Both the Police Federation and scientific research showed in no uncertain terms that the officer’s accounts in the Stanley case were credible; there was therefore absolutely no issue of integrity. The case of Neil Sharman and his colleague and their relationship with the IPCC marked an incredible U-turn by the IPCC which ended with Chief Inspector Neil Sharman received a standing ovation from Conference. A fact remains that Nick Hardwicke did listen, but a further fact is that his teams have hindsight at their benefit and although he loosely apologised to Inspector Sharman; what he was unable to do was something that would have given him some credibility. He was unable to say he was sorry on behalf of the IPCC.
The day of the AGM masked no issues, as once again the office of Constable was a direct and related theme. The conference voted against extending the membership family of the Police Federation and pushed towards maintaining a professional status. In this way the conference of 2006 was arguably not only the best conference ever but it debated the most fundamental and important issues relating to the foundation of policing; and the potential for reform to lead to reduced numbers or rather, policing on the cheap.
Dr Reid, as a strong Home Secretary, might just be able to salvage some of the mess that his predecessors have left behind, (including the issue of the Victoria Cross and DC Oakley), and he has the track record and credibility to do this, but judgement day will come in the manner in which he continues his police reforms and whether he lives up to some of the promises made.
Acceding to the fact that some of the Home Office was incompetent might not have done anything to win the hearts and minds of Senior Civil Servants and policy makers; but Dr Reid may have won the hearts of many good police officers who try and do a good job day in day out. Lastly but by no means least, the conference remembered all those officers that had fallen in the line of duty in 2005/2006 including the most recent, Nishma Patel Nasri.
This year’s conference has shown the Police Federation of England and Wales in 2006 to be an extremely sleek and effective business organisation consisting of professional people that not only understand reform but understand the shape of a modern police service that is now required to police some old some new and some different demands.
A fact remains that this type of consultation has been going on for years, it is allowed to continue and it overtly has tended to exclude those minority ethnic people that are disaffected by ‘race’, i.e. it excludes the type of person that the police are likely to come into contact with in confrontational situations, and perhaps this is a natural process for White ethnocentric managers.
The police service must move beyond this position quickly to police ‘race’ disaffection fairly equitably without stereotyping negatively these groups. Indeed such consultation is "cosy and complacent" because the police service has been able to overtly show and measure this process as a positive change in terms of "consultation" strategically, but the reality of this consultation has mean this is more no more than a "tick in the box". Furthermore, such is this behaviour that it exists generically in mainstream partners also.
Sadly though, it is the police service that is the ‘expert’ in maintaining "old style" systems, but it is the service that holds one of the keys to the success, failure, and competence in relation to race relations and society. As a further and associated example, it is widely recognise in policing circles that some managers within key functions, e.g. Race, have overtly made this strategic action "practically corrupt" by choosing who within the BPA they consult with, or who within the BPA the organisation can afford to give "power" to.
Some Black officers have not been innocent in this. Therefore individual police organisations need to be very clear in terms of consultation as to whether they wish to foster an honest and open type relationship with their own BPA and with the communities based on ethics of good understanding for example, or whether they wish to foster a ‘master/pet’ relationship which changes with the skills and beliefs of senior management. Evidence has shown that ‘race’ can no longer be an area upon which Chief Officers can compromise on by such attitudes and behaviour depicted above; behaviours, which are arguably also very clear examples of institutional racism. Such practices are not constructive; they prolong the change, and maintain a ‘false’ race relations industry both inside and outside the police service.
And therefore it can be gleaned with some confidence that managers right up the management chain of ‘race’ are working well within there own "comfort zones" and these zones do not assist in dismantling the unequal "racial" status quo. In essence, and in order to dismantle some of these corrupting practices all police organisations really need to ask themselves some critical questions: Who are they consulting with? What understanding do these people have in relation to racism’s? What academic background or experience do these people have? What advise can these people bring to the internal anti racist managerial stance and the operational effectiveness of policing disaffected minority ethnic communities fairly? And whom do these people actually represent? It is these types of questions that the middle and senior police managers have been very keen to ignore to date.
Indeed some of the people that the service consults with cannot impact on the issue of trust between the police service and the minority ethnic communities, and since trust is a key issue that the Macpherson report had asked the service to consider and build upon, the police service cannot have said to have yet achieved in this key area.
With these type of practices occurring in respect of the established visible minority ethnic communities 20 years after the ‘race’ riots; (Black, Asian, etc.); then one can only deduce that the consultation with "new minority ethnic communities is equally corrupted from the outset and the dangerous aspect in relation to new communities is that, these communities have little experience of the service and will remain as trusting as the established communities have been in the past, only to be abused" by personal incompetence and a culture of denial."
Sadly where genuine attempts had been made at consulting with real people of integrity from the communities, those in power inside have been quick to pull the plug on these people. Such false conditions are merely setting the whole service up, and more importantly, front line delivery, to experience yet another significant Lawrence type incident involving the established minority communities; and now even perhaps the new communities also, and this is indeed complacent.
The changes suggested here may be deemed by some as reverse discrimination but what other option does the service now have? Since there is no equal opportunity for marginalised BLACK people inside anyway, but there is equality of opportunity that is white ethnocentric, for those Black colleagues that toe the party line, it is only a matter of time until changes are forced. The disaffected Black community should not be demeaned in this way, nor should those police officers that are Black and that stand up to the truth of corruption. There is only so long that establishment can hold on to this power and fool others into thinking otherwise.
In order to necessarily break the culture of ‘ice’ management and ensure that the service now responds positively and with real integrity to ‘race’ issues rapidly perhaps the service would like to start by dismantling the structure of the "mess" that so inappropriately appears to be a selection ground for promotion and progression.
The Macpherson report published in 1998 was said to be, by the then Home Secretary Jack Straw, a watershed in British policing and race relations. The aim of this paper is to consider how much of a watershed the report really has been in terms of the ethos of the reports and its recommendations from an organisational perspective, to provide an accurate reality of race relations facing police organisations up and down the country today. It is important to note the base of this report was written before the findings of the CRE investigation into police racism were published in 2005.
In short one feels that there is much stark evidence that the implementation of the Macpherson report has been severely watered down since 1998. This evidence comes from many sources and individual examples that have been provided across policing in this country as well as from personal experience since joining the service some 15 years ago.
This paper also suggests that those in police and other organisations who had been handed this change privilege have actually made such significant errors and oversights, but it is not as if these errors been stopped; moreover these errors are still allowed to continue and as such this is an indictment on the police organisation and it’s people as a whole.
Lord Macpherson in 1998 made it clear that Institutional racism did exist, he acknowledged it’s relevance not only to British policing but to British society. But this definition was not a new one. Macpherson also stated that police organisations should listen to their Black Police Association’s but here he may have been misinformed. Here one could state that there is Black that is White and Black that is Black and whilst this statement may appear offensive it is very much a reality in British race relations as it currently stands. This paper, therefore, hopes to restore this long overdue undebated matter and other distinctions that impact upon effective race relations.
As an academic, Covey, when referring to people inside organisations, put forward a view that actually it is imperative for changing organisations to listen to those with the inside knowledge to effect the relevant change. He also put forward the view that solutions to issues are unlikely to come from external sources. In other words he stated:
“And in all of my experience, I have never seen lasting solutions to problems, lasting happiness and success, that came from the outside in. (Oakley and Krug.)
This statement in itself is critical to the success or ultimate failure that effective ‘race’ relations is likely to have inside policing and the impact the service can have in leading society through the change. Macpherson talked about Organisations such as the service which have a hierarchical existence are always dependant upon the understanding of it’s leaders, and of course some of this is necessary for part of the policing role. However, this status is not what is required when talking of what is the required ‘race’ change in the service.
Although police organisations may appear to be changing their policies; this change historically has been deemed of little use; as change of this type cannot really come from the outside in, nor can it be a matter of policy; but it must come from the inside, through compassion and experience. The question that must be debated is from where on the inside does the change come and where has it come from in the past.
Lord Macpherson in 1998 could not have evidenced the blatant racial misuse of Black people inside police organisations by not just White people but by some other Black people from inside and outside also, (hence the reference to Black that is White and Black that is Black). But since 1998 this observation has been a matter of course, and this behaviour is racist.
However, this abuse remains a thorn in the side of anti racist practitioners to date but in essence it’s problem lies only in the controlled dominant power base within police organisations, for example Centrex, the NBPA, ACPO, the Home Office, etc, and perhaps other organisations also. All of these bodies still remain primarily White. Perhaps the operative phrase to use in this example is that these bodies have merely offered tokenistic gestures to date. The Police Federation on the other hand has been more understanding recently, but this did nothing for those that needed support before and around 1998.
One could argue that the strategic interventions of the Macpherson report have therefore been so badly flawed to date across police organisations that the operational impact of ‘race’ equality has been marginalised further by such individual senior, middle and junior attitudes to the point where ‘race’ as an issue is covertly rubbished by some. Of course, accepting freedom of speech as core to democracy, such views as depicted only typify the nature of the current problem that policing is faced with.
When people suggest things cannot change overnight actually they are wrong. One would argue that if police organisations sacked the first Superintendent who practiced racism then the trickle effect would be overnight and this paper concludes as to why this drastic action may be the only way forward as individual accountability must become the key performance indicator in this field. In essence one must consider not only what has gone wrong, but also why it has gone wrong?
The primary core concept and business philosophy that packages ‘race’ inside police and other organisations is flawed. Without doubt there exists a ‘safe’ yet misconceived belief based in the hierarchical ownership of business sectors within organisation theory amongst leaders at the heart of British policing, (e.g. ACPO, the NBPA, The Police Federation, Centrex), a view that ensures Managers and Police leaders place the concept of ‘race’ in a basket amongst all other policing functions of a police organisation is now considered outdated.
The above behaviour is not just practiced in policing circles but is one that is endorsed by learning centres in policing which espouse ‘race’ excellence through, for example, the Police Leadership Programme, (PLP) for minority ethnic individuals, and through other public sector bodies also.
The question that must not be asked is, since its inception how many minority ethnic officers or staff have progressed through the PLP programme, but have they progressed through the organisation by adopting a leadership style akin to the programme, which is actually quite ‘racist’ in it’s methodology? Or have they progressed by being part of the status quo? And what of those that remain ‘honest?’ Who actually benefits from the honesty and integrity of some Black colleagues that refuse to compromise on race issues?
Essentially these people who choose to disown their own ethnicity perhaps do so to survive and may be like their leaders and care only for personal gains as opposed to minority disaffected communities. And what development has there been for those officers that refuse to compromises on a learnt skill that suggests, ‘behave like me and you will be fine’, ‘behave like you and we don’t really understand you.’ The PLP on its own deserved further consideration in this paper. Interestingly the PLP has come out shining in the recent CRE report. I for one do not support this course. However the course was promoted by Ravi Chand as the then President of the NBPA. He is now a Commissioner in the CRE. And the course is delivered and supported by the current President.
On the other hand anti racist practitioners will suggest that ‘Race’, however, is so core to every policing function and runs through most organisations that it is totally integral to each function and such an overview, as above is actually only White ethnocentric focussed. In other words, such approaches can never succeed. For example, traffic processing as a function in ethnic areas might wish to take into account the lifestyles of minority ethnic groups in terms of policing the traffic issues in the area and if people are treated differently then treating differently respective of ‘race’ may not be unfair. But it is still seen as such. We are well aware that the Asian community does not see obstructive parking as an issue, but this is from the perspective of their experience in India and in East Africa. On the other hand it may be deemed to be fairer as a result of the ongoing hardship faced by such communities. Police Officers and managers in ethnically concentrated areas may wish to very much balance prosecution decisions with discretion in relation to parking offences, obstruction offences, and carrying children in vehicles, for example. Instead, in relation to prosecutions do we appear to practice disproportionate measures that are then deemed racist? However, it is also suggested that such discretion may be viewed by those inside as unequal policy and therefore unfair in terms of the treatment between Black and White, but if this is the case this is only so because diversity is not understood.
The idea that this papers wishes to espouse is that social cohesion in certain areas may already have landed on disaffected minority ethnic families a disadvantage and police actions can further add to that disadvantage or they can try and break this cycle.
After all it is very likely that the majority of White middle class people are likely to be ‘model’ practitioners of traffic matters because actually they do not suffer the same disadvantage of Black people, nor do they have the same experiences or background. Furthermore, and in comparison between White and Black working classes the findings if they are ever made may indicate further disproportionality against Black and Asian people. I would refer to this as the cumulative impact of racism.
Packaging and de-operationalising ‘race’ not only institutionalises ‘race’ so that it cannot be dismantled but it depersonalises the ownership of ‘race’ change to the institution, as opposed to the individual, and within ACPO, this institutionalisation is a sad state of affairs marred by further ethnocentrism. In the case of ‘pass the parcel' with the race portfolio; one wonders how effective is this policy and who is then accountable or is it acceptable that no one is held accountable? I fear that the latter is the case due to a lack of understanding.
Such irrational behaviours are still real inside the police organisation and insular amongst non-police organisations that we are having to work with, and some of these other organisations are arguably still way behind the police service, and when these other organisations do wrong, who is to take the lead? If the left hand does not know nor understand what the right hand is really doing in terms of partnerships and ‘race’ does it really matter what the left hand does to the right hand and vice versa?
There is, therefore, little monitored co-ordination amongst partners and whilst ‘race’ does not affect individual White and Black managers in positions of power personally then it’s progress appears really not to matter at all other than until the time of inspections, and then all activity seems to take place, activity which is knee jerk and for the sake of nothing.
Thus, when organisations then further choose who then is unlikely to be brutally honest in relation to speaking with the inspection team, allowing only these people in or leaving this task to nominated Black personnel, one wonders what the term collusion really means.
Furthermore, ‘race’ change in most cases inside police organisations is delegated to Diversity officers or units. But more often than not these units may not consist of people really ‘fired’ up to change the system for the good of everybody. One must also question some of the motivation of such individuals in such posts if they do not do what is right when it is blatantly obvious.
The view that they may win another day is not appropriate for those that have suffered racism at that time. If such units then compromise on the ‘race’ issue what then? Race change cannot exist inside one unit in this way, but it does.
Of course some of these people may be Black, but an organisation in denial is unlikely to place someone real there until some time has passed. But moves and posting are often carried out by a White ethnocentric powerbase. In this delegated way failure can be blamed on others as opposed to the self; and change is not deemed necessary because it cannot be seen by the person with the power to effect change. In other words the status quo is maintained for as long as possible in real terms. Power to effect the change and knowledge of the subject are not seen as correlating skills inside police organisations still. Moreover they are seen as threatening behaviours. From the highest perspective one would suggest that drawing individual liability away from the ‘self’ is based on the fear of ‘self’ competence and the unknown and each person in the ‘race’ decision making chain is likely to be less competent then their manager, bar a few radical people, but these are few and far between. And even then these people are kept at a considerable distance from the change.
As an example, post the Secret Policeman documentary in which discrimination towards people of Asian origin was exhibited; ACPO’s knee jerk response was to produce partner ‘race’ audits. The methodology quite simply was that Force A would examine Force B and vise versa. However, there was clear evidence that those Black and White people that were entrusted to carry out audits were not the most suitably qualified available or were not prepared to be ‘honest’ with their findings for fear of losing their own privileges given to them by the organisation. The impact this than has on the truth is detrimental. One could therefore conclude that some if not most of the evidence produced from these audits was collusive and corrupted specifically in relation to Asian people. Not only was the evidence portrayed in the documentary mentioned, offensive, so too was the resultant police action, which was on effect secondary or post modern racism. The consequences of such collusion can only be dire. And critically the service still refuses to deal with this very obvious shortcomings in an open forum.
From this one critical behaviour, (the conduct of the ‘race’ audits), one can suggest that the real impact of the Macpherson report upon policing and society since 1998 remains patronisingly minimal because of this and other organisational behaviours. Oakley and Krug describe this type of organisational behaviour very well.
“What happens when an organisation – however well intentioned – tries to change structures and processes first? Invariably there is a degree of resistance, usually substantial. Much energy is then wasted on overcoming this resistance to change. The resistance actually negates much of the value of the process changes that are sometimes vitally needed. Yet the classical approach to change has us first implement system, structure, or process changes to deal with a
problem, then expend tremendous energy and resources tying to overcome resistance to changes, attempting to gain buy in for them from the people.” (Oakley/Krug).
Of course the police service implemented the ‘race’ audits quickly and the task was a mammoth one, but why such audits not occur pre the Secret Policeman? Perhaps we should be grateful that the service did do something at least, but does it not matter that the audits actually meant little and that what the service did was never going to mean much?
One cannot buy in to something that one neither experiences nor believes in and policies, attitudes, and processes will not necessarily impact on the mindset or behaviour that causes systemic racism’s, the types of which were depicted in the documentary, and arguably still lurk inside management structures unchallenged.
One would argue that a knee jerk reaction was not what was required and actually evidence that the nature of the problem that still exists has still to be dealt with. Of course many Police and non-police leaders will maintain that much was and is happening, policies are being developed, training is being completed, but are the policies the best they could be? Is the training the best that it can be? If the first audits after the Macpherson Report were corrupted in this manner then what must now be severely tested is the strength and commitment of the strategic interventions now at this point in time. Some behaviours merely allow organisations to be able to tick boxes relating to strategy but dealing with people of colour in terms of compassion on non discrimination is where the point of Macpherson remains totally lost within police organisations; and in non police organisations the situation is considered much much worse.
Of course the police service can have an almost immediate impact on its honest credibility in ‘race’ amongst the affected British Minority Ethnic, (BME), communities if it was really strategically prepared to understand the change that is now required and that which it still reluctantly gives. The police service must also acknowledge the privileged position it actually is in; in leading this change. If the current leaders are not prepared to do the right thing then perhaps they should move on.
Even after the death of Lawrence in some police organisations those in positions of power do not wish to acknowledge that the subject of ‘race’ is to be considered on equal terms as a specialist area within the policing function. Strategic interventions involving secondments to such specialist areas demanding an understanding and experience of deprivation appear to be based on personal career advancements, rank, and a desire to release people, as opposed to suitability based upon knowledge, understanding and racialised experience.
For example, theoretically speaking, placing a Senior manager in charge of ‘race’ when that manager may themselves inadvertently practice ‘race’ discriminations will hardly expose the real change that may be required. It may be that the service has seconded people based upon rank to improve their own career potential but is this right way to affect ‘race’ change?
On a separate note one can still argue that the life opportunities for Black and Asian people are still so generically disproportionate in certain geographical areas throughout the country, but this is not a police issue! I would argue that it is a police issue. It is an issue when and if we start arresting people disproportionally or criminalising people in this way that it becomes a police matter.
This position is real in parts of London, parts of Birmingham, Nottingham, Manchester, Leicester, Oldham, and Burnley; and here the lack of opportunities place undue pressures on policing and provide very serious implications for crime and deviance, such that society deems it only appropriate to ‘criminalise’ Black people further.
The recent and continued position in Iraq should lead us to question how a young Muslim male may be disadvantaged now and indeed how young Asian males will be affected by the war on terrorism, but these thoughts appear to be outside our police vision? And are the root causes of disaffection being dealt with generically or is the police service left to do it’s very best. The areas mentioned have already seen violent clashes recently and to say that ghetto’s do not exist in parts of this country is denial.
As such the police service may wish to recognise the specialist nature of ‘race’ through cross national police assistance for example but instead it is as if Senior officers are leaving individual issues to respective Forces as opposed to promoting a united response. The potential consequences of not recognising and addressing this matter is that certain geographical areas in this United kingdom, (for example parts of Scotland), are likely to re-experience the type of ‘race’ riots and racial murders that parts of England experienced in the 1980’s. Is it worth taking this risk yet again?
Organisations that lie about the true state of race relations are corrupt and whilst this might be considered to be a brash statement, it is the truth. From the very top to all functions within the police organisation from people management through to assessment, recruiting, admission, probation, career development, complaints and discipline, and advancement, the service still has made little progress that amounts to dignified treatment of BME staff, especially those that challenge inequalities.
For others that are prepared to toe the line the gains are personal and defy equal opportunity. The marginalisation of people, (such as Supt Dilzaie and others), people that challenge legitimately is so systemic and ingrained at various levels within the whole organisation that their existence inside is seen as incompatible, almost too ‘radical’ and difficult. And the people that do challenge but are not understood are often termed as academic and philosophical because of their challenges to managers. Their challenges, however, are not personal but managers often receive the challenges as an attack on their own styles and as a threat to their own personal competence.
And so selling the organisation in a ‘false’ way can only be achieved by using some ‘Black’ people within functions such as recruiting in a tokenistic manner, but then how is this message received out in the community where young Black and Asian men have experienced marginalisation in society as a whole? And what type of person is the service trying to recruit in minority ethnic people when the Black people with a voice inside organisations are used to temper the ‘real’ situation?
What of the potential link between violent crimes/ethnicity and stereotypes? It is now absolutely fundamental that what will also assist the whole National organisation and operational officers is an admission that ‘race’ stereotypes do acutely apply and are derived from zero cohesion in the community.
And as a concept, ‘zero cohesion’ is not necessarily derived from policing interactions but can be further added to by police interaction. That there are very serious ethnic concerns in certain areas of deviance, for example in drugs and firearms is something that has missed managers totally or they do not wish to talk about it. This must be acknowledged from a root and preventative perspective as opposed to a reactive and judiciary perspective if disproportionality between White and Black is to be tackled seriously. Otherwise what really is the point of ‘race’ strategies? For every little bit of pride that police managers hold on to in relation to their own poor understanding of ‘race’ a Black person will be innocently hurt and/or killed in street survival constructs within various core deviance’s if things continue as they are. It is almost as if this fact does not matter.
“Many leaders tend to focus on hard issues because they bare easier to see, recognise, and measure, and in some ways they seem easier to address. Leaders also place importance on hard issues because they seemingly are based on fact, and factual matters can be debated, proven, and strategize. In addition, for must of us, it is more comfortable to address these concrete, non-human issues. Yet, addressing hard issues just because they are more tangible and measurable is being like the proverbial drunk who looks futilely for his keys half a block away from where he lost them, reasoning that “there is no street light down there.” Focussing on the hard issues because the means to address them seem clear does not make the problems – only the symptoms – go away. Real problems do not often go away when ignored.” (Oakley/Krug)
The truth, (that others may term as soft issues, i.e. ‘race’), will never go away whilst at the heart of policing lies the core concepts of honesty and integrity in some colleagues. Not many strategic, and strategic does not equal senior in rank, managers inside the organisation and outside wish to own the precarious link between ‘race’, racial stereotypes, racial discriminations, racial disaffection and the committal of drug and/or gun crime. On the contrary some Police Managers and the Home Office appear to be led by performance, detection’s and comparisons, the requirements to record crimes and detect may be irrational when contrasted with effective ‘race’ relations.
Statistics may show that moving policing away from discretion and towards stops, searches, recording, and investigation of sometimes-minor matters that affect Black people disproportionally may also cause a full circle movement against the work of Macpherson.
We have all heard how Black people that are not drunk in comparison with their White counterparts may be prone to arrest for public order offences simply because of where they reside or where they frequent; yet the same behaviour in a White middle class town may receive a caution. But why are we just predominantly policing minority ethnic people in this way? Whose problems are these? Sometimes one wonders what all the fuss is about as anti racist practices are then neutralised with counter active practices, which criminalise Black people further.
Some Police managers may wish to ponder on the words of the late Freddie Mercury and deduce for themselves what Mercury’s words might mean in the case of a youth who has just killed another youth in a gun related incident.
“Mama I just killed a man, put a gun against his head, pulled the trigger now his dead, mama life had just begun, but now I’ve gone and thrown it all away. Mama………Didn’t mean to make you cry............I sometimes wish I’d never been born at all, ……carry on carry.”
Black and particularly Asian people still remain unloved in society. Do police leaders understand really what it must be like to grow up in a ‘ghetto’ area? What it must be like to be able to survive in a ‘ghetto’ area and what must often be done in order to survive? What must it be like for mothers and fathers who may work in lowly paid sectors, having to leave their children at home? What about education and opportunity in such areas? Or are these issues not about policing? Mercury said categorically in this song that if the person did not get out of prison then life should carry on. What is meant by this? Who must carry on? One wonders how familiar these words are as experiences to the parents of Black children who continue to be systematically institutionalised by this new type of slavery in Britain today. Or do we simply continue to say well actually it is a problem of the Black community and because it was a gay man that sang this song the words do not matter either?
The truth is the life of Black people is still considered worth less than the life of a White person but this fact appears not to matter to those in power. Leaders may wish to listen to these words very carefully because there is sometime no life for some disaffected people of colour.
Therefore, it is suggested that any managerial stance that ignores this fact does not take into account what it is like to be Black and disaffected and only serves to allow ethnocentrism to play off Black against Black and avoid the real issues affecting Black disaffected people. One would argue that this is colonial rule all over again! In essence police organisations that do not see beyond performance merely end up institutionalising ethnic groups both inside and outside further and again in the late Freddie Mercury’s words,
“another one bites the dust”,
Black and Asian life still cannot mean that much to some people. It is almost as if some managers irrespective of their own ethnicity wish to leave some Black people,
“sleeping in the ghetto,” (Akon), of the organisation and society and this is a sad indictment in what is termed a civilised British society.
It is probable that British society has severe ‘ehnicisation’ problems still of Black and particularly Asian peoples. And across parts of our major cities in England, Wales and Scotland, after the 1980 race riots one can still picture ‘ghettoised’ areas in parts of Leicester, Birmingham, Coventry, Manchester, Lancashaire, Luton, Glasgow, and areas in London such as Harlesden, Willesden, Clapham, Tooting, Brixton, Tottenham, and Tower Hamlets, these are just a few names areas. In these areas many a Black child and parent have fallen victims to society’s ills and whilst the police service may not have caused these ills, it has had to police these people and as such has perhaps, sometimes unwittingly played a contributory role is disaffecting people of colour in relation to stops, stop searches, prosecutions for petty crime as well as more serious gun and violent crimes. In other words community and race relations is not without complex problems. If ‘race’ equality has changed little over time since the 1980’s really how civilised have government’s, councils and past police leaders actually been? As long as it is not a white ghetto, it doesn’t really seem to matter?
Surely a ‘race’ friendly approach would ensure policing took on a more preventative long term role to identify those most at risk of particular deviance’s and to distract them within a partnership approach. Some would argue for those individuals that are diverted from crimes, that someone else will take their place, but if the police service and others do not try then they will never know and it is this type of defeatist attitude that has prevented the real success of ‘race’ relations to date.
Placing and showing a Black face on a recruiting campaign poster is not the answer to effective race relations, but it is the preferred first resistant response. And distractions of a preventative nature may succeed if such practices were operated on a national basis and across Force boundaries and progress could be monitored and measured also.
If the service joined wholeheartedly strategically with education, and sport, including premiership football, county cricket, tennis, rugby, athletics it would not take much to convince that people diverted from serious crime to these areas are likely not only to succeed well, but they are likely to gain access to certain areas that have actually been out of bounds for Black and Asian people, and are still out of bounds today. This would be effective race relations.
Yet the police service in consultation argues that it does consult with the BME community. Sadly this is absolute cods wallop! Selective consultation with the BME community and its abuse of BME people really must also now be stopped. It is imperative that police managers end practices amounting to selective consultation with representatives that purport to represent multiculturalism, but are actually from a class that is financially able to buy themselves out of ‘race’ disaffection or from a class that supports racism. What really is the point of consulting with those that may be wealthy enough to buy themselves out of race problems?
One would suggest that attention must be directed towards those that are actually disaffected people of colour and those that work with them. For example, it is imperative that the service consults with young African Caribbean and Asian men within certain age groups as well as with new communities.
Although this may appear to be difficult to achieve the flaw remains that those that are tasked with consultation seek only to do the bare minimum because they do not have the knowledge or experience to understand core ‘race’ issues. Consulting with those that neither have the recognised understanding, qualification, experience or attachment to those that the service are likely to deal with makes the consultants appear professional, when in fact they are not.
This failure is an organisational failure and departments and individual managers that promote such activities need to be aware that actually their behaviour amounts to deception and corruptive racism’s to protect only themselves and their own incompetence. Their behaviour actually does nothing to prevent assault and murder based on ‘race.’ The upward management loop of a lack of understanding allows these behaviours to foster deep within organisations in an institutional manner.
What of research? There are serious flaws in the research of Holdaway and Cashmore. Some of this research may provide some insight but it does not provide an accurate picture of reality. Research must now be conducted from an alternative Racialised Insider Perspective, (as defined by Barot as early as 1998).
Definitive research must be conducted to explore crime, stops, stop and search, deviance, arrest, charge, disposal, and mental health across the whole spectrum of the judicial system and society and that this must be both geographical and demographic. Only the police service can lead this initiative at this point in time. The research must differentiate between Black, White, religion and faith as well as ‘new communities’ entering this country and more specifically, crime. The police organisation has been repeatedly informed of this requirement, yet it continues to disassociate itself from what really is an inevitable position by aligning itself wholeheartedly to colonial research.
What of the failing Race Relations Act? Current leadership in most organisations, including police organisations, recognise the fact that actually the Race Relations Act of 1976 is unworkable but because this flaw has worked in the favour of both past and current leadership, it remains unchallenged. Both Direct and Indirect Discrimination are so fluently acutely practised across organisations that they are acutely undetectable. This works to the benefit of managers. Organisations practising racism’s have been allowed to get away with racism’s for far too long and the Race Relations Act must take some of the blame.
With a major impact of race relations legislation affecting the police through stops and search one begs the question why the police service will not take the required lead in asking for further sweeping changes to be made to this rather outdated legislation. These changes may wish to take into account the nature of perception, feeling and action within the definition of a racist incident. A serious fact also remains that ‘racism’s’ and their impact on victims in the organisation or as victims of ‘race’ hate is not at all understood within most organisations.
However, the impact of racism’s particularly unique because it is based upon feelings that occur based on the actions, attitudes, behaviours, assumptions, systems and practices of some peoples, not all peoples, in any organisation and in society. Of course there is a cumulative impact which should not be forgotten here also. Hence ‘racism’ is a real key state of mind in the victim caused by actions of others. Until there is an unequivocal acceptance of the existence of racial abuse inside organisations victims remain unheard and their experiences remain unreal. In the case of institutional racism the key is management, but one would suggest that their understanding is poor due to their own lack of take up of relevant education.
Drawing an analogy between the offence or rape and race hate one could suggest that a rape may leave both mental and physical scars, but who ultimately knows the actual damage that a rape has caused, the victim, no one else. Yet, in comparison, the fact remains that it is only the English language, together with legal and institutional and HR constructs that continue to refute the existence that racism is a feeling and the experience is real. In this way when facts are refuted as perceptions still in what is deemed to be a civilised society.
One wonders how non-victims of ‘race’ are prepared and trained to recognise the physical and emotional scars that ‘race’ leaves behind. Sadly as a victim I continue to observe the impact of what race hate leaves behind in others not just through personal observations but predominantly through the number of failed internal tribunal actions post the Macpherson Report. This behaviour of challenging those that challenge is akin to the behaviours associated with the rivers of blood speech.
Nothing really much has changed in attitudes and behaviours towards Black and Asian men and women and Asian people in particular still face disproportional treatment because their language, their culture, and their faith are considered to be so different in different areas around the country. It has taken many years for some people to realise that race leaves behind a sad state of affairs for the victim which is neither recognised nor understood fully.
To the untrained eye these scars remain invisible or may become negative stereotypes and are sometimes difficult to describe. And so one wonders whether the police service can lead others and better prepare the taking and presentation of evidence for vulnerable victims of ‘race’ hate. Further, senior organisational behaviours such as hoodwinking portfolio responsibility, as already mentioned, yearly or two yearly and playing pass the parcel with this role within ACPO at the most senior levels ensures that racist systems are prolonged for as long as possible. In other words this is blatant racism.
And what about the view that some BPA’s and the NBPA movement must now not be abused by a White ethnocentric power base? In relation to Black support groups, (internal and external) there must be a firm understanding inside the police organisation that support groups and legislative bodies, whilst they appear to be working in the pockets of White institutions, are not necessarily the leading authority in terms of advice in the field of ‘race’. Change is only as good or as real as the people implementing that change. And so the fate of Black disaffected people is in the hand of a few people and unless Black people are considered a safe pair of hands they are not released to pursue equality, in fact they are severely sidelined. The National Black Police Association, (NBPA), has been abused in this way but it has also allowed this abuse. Black people who wish to stand for the NBPA must first be released by their organisations.
And some local BPA’s are so closely associated with their police organisation that the work intended for them to complete in the Macpherson Report remains unachieved because core Black people are not released or when they are released they are set up to fail, by working alone. The structures of support groups and their relationships with their host organisations continues to remain deliberately fudged by memorandums of understandings such that that the real impact of these groups is minimal. Sometimes the impact of some local BPA’s and their relationship with their ‘host’ Force is so inept that only certain Black officers are allowed into the ‘race’ remit, i.e. those that have or choose to behave ‘white.’
And it is not wrong to state that some incompetent Black people are put into positions of power in relation to ‘race’ to nullify the work of other Black officers, and for what, all for personal gain, but this is the reality of ‘race’ inside police and non police organisations.
It is a must therefore that a financially and politically independent and focussed NBPA would be a more productive and effective support group for change post Macpherson. The NBPA situation is a very well staged episode in the history of British Race Relations. Barot, (1998), suggests that a tiger without teeth will not be able to survive in its environment unless it is fed and becomes a pet. This is true of the BPA movement also. I bare no malice here when I state that the police institution still largely promotes a dinosaur mentality in relation to ‘race’ and thus remains of big stature when faced with changes that are only begrudgingly then being made over the longest possible time period. Any support group that has no power, or that has power controlled by the organisation can never effect the change that the Macpherson report promised. In other words support groups of this type remain racist also. Letting go of ‘power’ is not therefore just a ‘White’ issue it is both a ‘White’ and ‘Black’ issue.
In conclusion then, this is the aftermath of the Macpherson Report and the aftermath is not so pure because some leaders in policing and leaders in partner agencies ‘hold’ on so vicariously to the power that allows ‘race’ to foster everywhere and until this changes there can be no pride in policing and ‘race’ equality
What of Community Forums post Macpherson that are designed to take on ‘race’ issues? Are these for real or what? The main purpose of such forums which consist of the police, local councils, education, social services, faith organisations and voluntary bodies post Mapcherson was to tackle racism’s. One such forum that I have personal experience of was set up in 1998 post the Lawrence report to tackle racism’s but everytime the issue of ‘race‘ was moved forward; the outcomes would be diluted. The formation of such liberal forums was as a result of fear, the death of Stephen Lawrence and the resultant Crime and Disorder Bill. The abuse of the term ‘race’ has been systemic in such forums. Not only, after training, do some of the founder organisations not understand institutional racism’s, but many may be ruled by a belief that just because they exist as a body, they themselves do not practice racism’s. This is not the case at all. On the contrary such forums may behave badly in their ignorant stance. I have often heard the police service suggest that forums of this nature should be community led, but even if they have a poorer understanding then the police?
For example, in year 2, the forum had no idea of what to do and training did not arrive until years three and four. Instead of co-opting disaffected members of the minority ethnic community the forum chose to align itself with wealthy middle class individuals within these communities who had probably no idea of institutional racism’s also.
Despite feedback, the forum leadership continues to bury its head in the sand as did the police leadership and now in year 5 nothing other than the view that BME people are about ‘sari’s, samosas, and steel bands’, Barot, (1998), is purported as a view of multiculturalism.
To the Forum the watching, the smiling Negro and the dancing Indian nodding his head is what race relations seems to be about, not about dignity in the manner in which people are treated, but about visual acceptance and White people having a good time!
Yet every year at wintertime time I see hoards of Indian disaffected people who have come in to the area on work permits to stabilise some of the local IT industry walking from one side of the area to another for their shopping. They are walking miles and miles as our forefathers used to 30 plus years ago. These people; husbands, wives and small children walk through the cold to save some money to send home and the forum is about yearly get together, but for whose enjoyment? If forums of this nature were to consider these peoples then perhaps they could do a little bit of what is important. Do such forums really really care about people of colour or do they only care about themselves in that they are doing what they feel to be right, not knowing or accepting that it is wrong. Having been involved in one such forum for six years; enough is enough; despite their existence, these forums are not led by people that have racialised experience, and after six years they are still not ready to accept minority ethnic leadership. Not only are they are a real waste of resources, but they are collusive and as an action post Macpherson, such forums are an indictment to the life of Stephen Lawrence. Forums of this nature also systematically refuse to tackle the real issues that affect minority ethnic people in terms of education, employment, and other societal barriers but seem more impressed with spending monies towards multicultural events which serve the majority and make them feel better whilst achieving little race equality.
The following is a sad point but one that must now be made. The police training institution and courses for minority ethnic colleagues are in a dire state of affairs. It is an absolute disgrace that the current Police Leadership Programme, (PLP), is being flouted by individuals within BPA’s and the NBPA movement as a course that will lead to change post Macpherson. Here in lies a sad indictment upon those Black colleagues and managers that promote such a course, a course that is making money out of the lives of Stephen Lawrence, Michael Menson, and Ricky Reel.
An underlying assumption in the methodology of this course is that there is something not quite right with the way Black people communicate and that if they communicated differently that maybe the organisation would listen to what they have to say. This is an absolutely absurd assumption, which provides a racist methodology ingrained within the course template. The problem of Institutional racism lies within the institution, not within the majority of Black people, but within some White and Black people. Secondly, the problem lies in the attitudes, behaviours and practices of individuals within that institution.
Changing anti racist views in Black people so they become White is not the answer, for this is a racist ideology, nor is this the education that Black officers deserve or need and these practices are unlikely to remove the shackles from their hands and feet, shackles which have been there for many many years. Thirdly, only a racist belief would have us believe that as if by magic, that attendance on this course will change matters, all it will do is maintain the status quo.
This is proved by the point that those that do challenge are then severely marginalised to the point where they may lose their careers. And still the training and leadership faculty of the police organisation plugs the wrong hole. If on the other hand, it were prepared to plug the hole that exists in the understanding and ability of its leaders then that would be, not only an acceptance of the term, institutional racism, but a step towards real change.
One wonders whether the authors and deliverers of the PLP Programme would deliberate over whether Stephen Lawrence, Michael Menson or Ricky Reel needed leadership skills to survive in the institution of society that was racist at the point of time of their murders as a direct result of the colour of their skin? And whilst the Macpherson report was a watershed in the history of race relations in this country what some managers and leaders have chosen to do with this very critical report is nothing more than clinical institutional racism in adopting a blundering and ill thought through strategy that makes some of these managers as guilty of racism as the murderers of Stephen Lawrence.
Fair play for Black and Asian people that challenge the status quo for equality still does not exist in society let alone in the police organisation. However, it would be equally unfair to suggest that there does not exist in police and other organisations some people that care, understand and apply to race relations behaviours akin to integrity and compassion, but the fact is that these people have not been allowed in. These people do exist. (for example, Dilzaie, Perera, and Barot). It is only the collusive nature of the service that stifles real progress by marginalising such individuals.
Therefore, critically one of the only real achievements to date of the Macpherson report is a celebration of the life of a young Black youth by the name of Stephen Lawrence. Stephen’s legacy lives on in freedom from racism and what this boy has given disaffected people of colour is a platform on which they can stand firmly and a voice from which they can shout and fight for their right to equality. Will Black and Asian people fight back? In short yes, of this there can be no doubt. The question that remains is where will it start this time? What is likely to occur and re-occur is that Black people will continue to fight until real equality is achieved. The police service has blanketly refused to change and it has falsified its account in this area. The HMIC also have much to answer for here.
Of course the mental strain taken on by some Black and Asian people may result in their institutionalisation mentally and within the prison service also. There may be a disproportionate amount of young Muslim men from the North imprisoned and diverted to fundamental activity, (terrorism), because of poor ‘race’ relations and continued marginalisation. But clearly this is not a police problem! This rhetoric that we call race relations in policing has still a long long way to go.
The question for the National Police organisation is simple. It’s leaders continue to play ad-hoc lip service to this issue, and continues to apply interventions that fool all and sundry and achieve little. But if they do this then they need to be very aware that a tick in a box is only likely to arouse more discontent that may cause further the deaths of innocent Black people and colleagues. Those in positions of power have always had a choice but what remains unanswered is do they continue as ‘racists’, all be it inadvertently, or do they now move towards becoming ‘anti racist.’ Enough is enough.
What is a known factor though is that structurally the police and other organisations must place people with the knowledge, understanding and racialised experience in positions of power to enact a new model of true success that begins to impact on disaffected people for the first time in British history so that Black people do not continue being dealt with as the problem of the problem. Sadly British society is still uncivilised and deemed to be only touching surface level racism’s but it is still better than other parts of Europe. And the Police service is the critical partner amongst the public sector organisations.
If, however, the example of policing were something to go by then one would suggest that progress within Education, and the Health and Social Services remains equally bleak and superficial. The first response of services to claims of racism is to deny problems, then these services may fight problems, and still there is little change. Finally and reluctantly they may partially accept issues but still there will be little change and perhaps the service still has only a partial acceptance of the matters of debate. Unfortunately this is not good enough.
At present and at best, issues have gone underground, raised hopes and provided little more than a tick in the box for thematic inspections. Just as there is a distinction between right and wrong, good and evil, Black and White, there is the same distinction between truths and untruths. In race relations organisationally; these behaviours described in this paper are the truth and nothing much can improve until the truths are first acknowledged. In faith and trust terms the police service appears not to be doing what it should be doing; and a lack of integrity and honesty affects both White and some Black leaders. And why do some colleagues without privilege continue to maintain some dignity in this field? The Gita sums up this duty well.
“Do your duty without wavering; there is no greater honour than fighting in a righteous cause. To turn your back on a righteous cause, would be to turn your back on duty and honour; it would be to fall into sin. Your friends would say that you had fled from the fight out of fear; they would forget your great deeds of the past, and treat you with scorn.
Your enemies would speak about you with contempt and derision; they would laugh at your reputation for courage…Prepare to fight with peace in your heart.” (5/13: 366 readings from Hinduism: James).
I personally now am not at all convinced that the truth as depicted above is recognised fully in policing circles. But when Doreen Lawrence spoke to announce the Macpherson Report in 1998 the whole house, one would argue, was silenced. This silence, this anxious state of nervousness, inside a white institution; was though really only temporary and sublime. What Doreen Lawrence achieved on that historic day was justice for her son and this was more than what others entrusted with change post this report have achieved thereafter. This silence brought not just the house down, but it brought the whole country to a silent standstill, and some Chief Officers to their knees to account for the guilty behaviours that left not only the killers of Stephen still free but left an allegedly British democratic and civilised society guilty of the worst forms of collusive racism. In short if certain actions are not taken immediately it will be pockets of the country that are brought down in rage and with it we may see the loss of yet more life, both Black and Police.
But of all the difficulties the service faces; the most controversial difficulty faced by policing inside is it’s abuse of the NBPA and BPA movement. When this issue is addressed more vigorously and conclusively this will be a defining moment in the history of ‘race’ relations for this country. With ‘race’ there can be no compromise and the support movement must look carefully within as the movement can be, as the police organisation can, either only racist or anti racist. There no longer is any middle ground.
This paper concludes therefore that these deceptions in reporting the work post Macpherson inside the police service, which have included Black officers and the BPA’S are not the truth as it is, for without this truth, there can be no freedom for Black people, and no integrity for British policing, Black police officers and police leaders. What is evident now is this new type of slavery. In essence Black and Asian disaffected people remain still severely racialised both inside and outside of the police service post Macpherson. Let us not forget that those that continue to oppress Black people are some White and some Black people in power and that have recently held power post Macpherson and have indeed used that power in a in a manner to pursue their own career ambitions.
What is required now is a total and systemic overhaul, inclusive of promotions, by people that understand what they are doing in this field. Words such as ‘massaging’ the ego of White and Black leaders, manipulation, being economic with the truth, protecting one’s privilege, are all words associated with corruption and non truths and therefore words such as these must not be associated with the future success of race relations in policing and this country.
On a very personal note, some Black officers have often found that first they are ridiculed and laughed at when they experience racism. Then no one seems to understand what the fuss is about in relation to racism. They should be able to take it is what is often said and heard or muttered. This then can continue until there is a challenge and when a challenge is made, those involved become automatically collusive and the evidence cannot be located, but Black people are a part of this also. This then continues and continues and still the organisations tells Black officers that racism is a problem but it can never find the root of the problem; yet it continues to recruit minority ethnic staff into this pool called ‘fair play.’ Oh yes, it exists, they say, when talking about racism, but not in here and we don't have to admit it do we? Hence to some colleagues the reality of racism as an experience is nullified by management’s dispersal of the concept of race as 'false', as a mere perception and a reluctance to admit problems lies at the heart of the legal or civil remedy issue. This whole existence then becomes the experience that was never real for Black officers that have challenged legitimately between 1998 and 2004, perhaps even well before 1998. And so some colleagues are left institutionalised severely for the sake of the reputation of the organisation or the Chief officer Group. So, what then is the real consideration of consequence here?
Is the reputation of the relevant organisation so much that it must be protected by racial lies? Or is it purported competence of its senior management team more important or is it truly the reality of racism as it affects individual people of colour? For long enough individual minority ethnic staff have internalised these issues because they have been unable to do anything about them but the truth is, this sad state of affairs post Macpherson is the problem of the most senior managers in the organisation, who, if they continue to fail, are leaving themselves very wide open to very serious issues of neglect.
Returning to where this paper started,
“Sack the first Superintendent who practices racism or demote them for racism and overnight there will be change of the type never seen before in policing circles. These officers are the junior of the senior management. Not only would a demotion send a very startling and spine chilling message that is now required to the people ranked below the Superintendent that they cannot continue to collude in the old ways, but it will send reverberations upwards to the highest ranking officers that they also can no longer collude. (Joshi, 2005.)
Of course, police organisations can keep promoting these same people that collude and do not rock the boat, but those that do promote in this manner, need to understand that they are then as guilty as the murderers of Stephen Lawrence.
Importantly these managers need to understand that whilst there is a way up in the promotion stakes there is a way down also as a result of misuse of ‘race.’ To date this message has neither been appropriately sent or received by police personnel.
What is now urgently required is a strategic group consisting of racialised individuals that have no white privilege; names such as Dilzaie, Barot, and Perera should be names that are allowed in; not deliberately left out. What is not required is an advisory group that does nothing for Black and Asian people that are marginalised, but a strategic group that can really guide ACPO and impact upon change. Enough is enough. In 2004 to say that the Macpherson report is actually taken seriously by some police managers is an indictment on the life of Stephen Lawrence.”
The death of Stephen Lawrence clearly was not enough, the deaths of Michael Menson, Ricky Reel, and countless other Black and minority ethnic people is clearly still not enough. The Secret Policeman brought a collusive response that even ACPO could not control, because ACPO delegated the task to incompetence. All this has resulted in appeasing policies, not equal opportunity or the dismantling of hurdles that we have to continuously jump through.
We are intelligent individuals not uneducated servants, and we remain ignored by our own and by some of the organisation. History will account for the fact that not only has the racist part of the organisation abused us all, but so have some we consider represent the interests of BME disaffected people. Perhaps the operative phrase is that these peoples just represent themselves, and that is all. The Police organisation in listening to these peoples have perhaps put the whole country and colleagues at risk and back in terms of race relations.
This paper is served as yet another reminder today about the maltreatment of Asian people inside the organisation. Asian men and women in the police service, unless they behave in a ‘White’ fashion, are severely racialised and one can go back as far as 1990 from where one can produce this evidence.
Only when people are prepared to lose the privileges that may have got them where they are in so called privileged positions, will they perhaps have some understanding of what it is like to be in a minority. Until then these people are a part of the bigger problem.
For me, I can for once, proudly call myself a ‘PAKI’, in owning historically my own treatment inside the service I have nothing at all to hide. At each denial point in time since 1992 some of us have still stood firm and maintained our honest dignity, which is more than can be said for some of those that have progressed through the organisation.
I accept that this is what I am viewed like by some colleagues, some of whom are more senior than I; senior they may be, but they are not at all superior in terms of ‘racial supremacy.’ These issues contained herein this report are not my issues, they are yours, and despite being advised that some of us are being heard I believe this is not at all the case. Every gasp of our breath and trust towards management has been systematically betrayed in the past with so called ‘white lies.’
One now wonders, what is new, let us not forget that some Black people have been guilty also, but then what is the ethnicity of the dominant group that begrudgingly ‘hangs on’ to this unequal and unfair power, for it those individuals past and present that have and still continue to abuse the disaffected Minority ethnic community. Still, this report makes some recommendations. ‘Race’ will not go away, the issue will be fought and won. If the police service now really wishes to show us all that it cares then in my view, the following recommendations must be actionned without being “watered down or “diluted.” Let us not forget the events that have brought us here today, the race riots of the 1980’s, the murder of Keith Blakelock, the resultant “whitewash” of Conservatism, the racial murder of Stephen Lawrence, the bungled investigation, the racist collusion thereafter, the subsequent Macpherson Report and, the bungled implementation of this report across society, The Secret Policeman documentary and the CRE investigation into police racism; which incidentally has not gone far deep enough. Historically, the lack of progress is corrupt and it is this incompetent corruption that needs to be broken away not “chipped” at, but “broken” away from the roots. Only a Black leader with conviction and a team can now begin to dismantle this evil, malice and ignorance that exists as police racism.
Recommendations post the CRE report into racism and the police service (2004)
(1) ACPO must first ensure that ‘Race’ is understood and acknowledged as a specialist area within policing. Forces will ensure that relevant departments focussing on ‘race’ issues contain an alternative racialised perspective within, irrespective of rank. This means that Police organisations have no choice but to now those Black colleagues that do not sell out to these issues into key strategic/operational positions within the Force.
(2) ACPO must acknowledge and ensure that selective consultation with member of the BME community, or selected members of BPA’s that are themselves racist or whom purport to represent the community without academic knowledge or experience, will cease.
(3) (i) ACPO must ensure that Forces identify ‘race’ experts within their respective Forces. In essence and as a guide there may be one or two individuals within each Force who exist irrespective of rank with these skills These individuals will have a (a) thorough understanding, (b) proven experience in tackling ‘race’ issues at a local and national level, (c) as well as an academic background in this field. ii) ACPO will ensure that these individuals are not further marginalised and will pursue to sign up these people to form an advisory committee on ‘race’ issues within the police organisation and
essentially this group will act as a steering group for ACPO on the issues of ‘race.’(iii) These individuals will on a basis of Team basis be able to provide mutual aid support in relation to issues of ‘race’ tension that occur across England, Wales and Scotland. (iv) Secondments to foreign Forces will be made possible where intervention is deemed to be of assistance to the recipient Force and these people will from part of this team.
(4) ACPO will agree to critically review the support given to local BPA’s and the NBPA in terms of funding and a base level will be agreed. Financial disparity between Forces will be removed. ACPO will agree to critique the factors that allow the best people to serve on the NBPA and in other Home Office departments in relation to ‘race.’
In particular, the removal of barriers relating to rank will be pursued rigorously and secondments to relevant departments will be based on the criteria identified in 3 (a) to (c) above.
(5) ACPO will ensure that Forces will agree a minimum base standard of training delivery in relation to race’ and this must be a continuous and regular process. Suitably experienced speakers and minority ethnic trainers will from the visible minority ethnic communities will form a part of this training. Training Managers that do not deliver effective training will be removed.
(6) ACPO will pursue vigorous policies and practices that mean those that practice institutional racism will be demoted and/or dismissed.
(7) ACPO will pursue an agreement that it will pursue honest representation of ‘race’ issues from a media perspective both within and in the community.
(8) ACPO will agree and ensure an immediate and independent review of leadership training for minority ethnic staff, which is considered to be delivered from a White ethnocentric stance.
(8) ACPO will agree to review promotion and career routes for BME staff and proactively remove inappropriate promotion cliques, e.g. Inspector’s mess. ACPO will agree to review how it has pursued a “behave like me and I will promote you approach.”
(9) ACPO will ensure that Forces will review their partnerships and promote partnership work from the perspective of anti racism. Any leader not actively pursuing this process will be removed and offered alternative posting.
(10) ACPO will agree to provide a research review of national ‘race’ tribunals by Forces since 1995,within 1 year, and provide examples of racist behaviours to Forces with a view to model some learning and actions that will assist Forces in preventing racism’s. The criteria for the research will be agreed with relevant BME staff.
(11) ACPO will promote research being conducted from a racialised perspective. This research will review the BPA movement the NBPA movements and insider experience producing its final findings within 2 years to ACPO.
(12) The ‘race’ portfolio will not be passed around within ACPO for a period of less than three years. There will be set objectives for each Force within the portfolio, and every two years a report will be published by ACPO showing development. Non significant progress will be vigorously monitored with sanctions being placed on Forces and Chief Constables who do not meet relevant areas of development.
(13) Both ACPO and the Police Federation will forthwith employ selected and suitably qualified police officers as “race” advisors. These officers will pursue the action plan above and report yearly on progress.