I was making the kids lunches this morning half-watching BBC Breakfast and they had a Sikh and a black guy on the sofa talking about the police.
I turned it up expecting to hear some claptrap about how the police are institutionally racist for picking on the minority groups responsible for the largest proportion of violent crime per capita but it was something else this time.
It started off ok with the Sikh guy quite happy to accept that he had been refused a job with the police because he failed one of the tests – a former colleague of mine applied 3 times before passing all the tests. Then the black guy, the chairman of the Black Police Officers Association or some such organisation, started calling for quotas to be introduced because only 7% of police officers come from black and ethnic minorities.
He doesn’t appear to have contemplated the possibility that black and ethnic minority people don’t want to join the police, an oversight that seems to have extended to the BBC who never seem to think of asking that question.
The black guy went on to say that in areas where there are a lot of black and ethnic minority people they need more minority officers because they can understand the culture and language better than white officers. At this point the Sikh sitting next to him asked him if he was advocating black people being policed by black people and white people policed by white people. He didn’t get a chance to answer because they conveniently ran out of time but that seems to be what he’s asking for.
So what do you think? Should quotas be applied to artificially bump up the number of minority police officers? Should black and asian people be policed primarily by black and asian officers?