From The London Telegraph:
HM Inspectorate says while it is ‘noble and right’ recruitment should not be at the expense of standards
By Martin Evans,
26 January 2023 • 9:00pm
Applicants to the police who can barely write in English are being accepted by the Met in an attempt to improve diversity, one of His Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary has warned.
HMI Matt Parr said that while it was entirely “noble and right” that Scotland Yard was aiming to be more representative of the community it policed, it should not be at the expense of standards.
In 2021, Dame Cressida Dick, the then Met Commissioner, declared it was the force’s aspiration to recruit 40 per cent of its officers from the black and ethnic minority communities by 2023.
But despite the Government’s programme to boost the number of officers across the country, which has seen a significant recruitment campaign across policing, the number of BAME officers in London remains at less than 17 per cent.
And as we all know, the London Bobbies are the worst police force in the world so they need to be fixed.
Wait, actually, they’ve been the most admired police force for the last 150+ years.
Mr Parr said setting ambitious targets both around the number of police recruits and diversity was understandable, but that it increased the risk of lowering standards and recruiting people who were not suited to the job.
He said there was even anecdotal evidence that some applicants were being accepted even though they were “functionally illiterate in English” and had difficulty writing up crime reports.
Mr Parr told The Telegraph: “We completely support the idea that London—which will likely be a minority white city in the next decade or so—should not be policed by an overwhelmingly white police force.
“That is clearly wrong. It is not just wrong from a legitimacy point of view, and from an appearances point of view, it is also operationally wrong because it means that the Met does not get insight into some of the communities it polices and that has caused problems in the past.
“So we completely support the drive to make the Met much more representative of the community it serves than it is at the moment.”
But he added: “We have a risk of recruiting the wrong people. You will hear people from their training school say that they are taking in significant numbers of people who are, on paper at least, functionally illiterate in English and therefore just writing up crime reports has become quite difficult in some areas.”
… A review of recruitment and vetting by His Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS) published in November warned that as many as ten per cent of police officers should never have been admitted into the police.
But he said when it came to vetting he was not advocating a “zero tolerance” approach to minor misdemeanours, but rather one of managed risk.
He said young black men tended to have a greater involvement with the criminal justice system in London than any other group but that did not mean they should be barred from the police.
“I think the Met are doing absolutely the right thing in taking a risk on those people, they have got to, and it is the right thing to do. It is not only a necessary thing but it is a noble aim for all sorts of reasons.”
But he said the recent HMI review of vetting suggested that in some cases the police were taking too much risk with candidates or were failing to put safety measures in place to mitigate the risk.
He said: “Everyone is trying to do the right thing here and they are all acting from noble motives by and large but the upshot is they are taking too much risk with people and where they are taking risk – and I would support them in taking risk – they are not managing it properly as well.”
David Spencer, a former Met officer, who is now head of crime and justice at the Policy Exchange think tank, agreed that the pressure to meet the uplift and diversity targets increased the risk that standards would be lowered.
He said: “There is a tension between volume, quality and diversity and something has to give. Someone has to ask what is the most important of those three things and you have to be really careful because once you have recruited someone they are possibly going to be there for the next 30 years.
“When you are making a risk assessment, if you are trying to hit a target your capacity for risk is going to increase.”
Does anybody have any idea how to diversify police forces without lowering quality? The U.S. has been trying for over a half century, but it’s turned out that there aren’t any One Weird Trick to recruiting better blacks. The only thing that actually works is substantially raising pay to lure the better blacks away from all the other employers who are looking for competent blacks.
It could be argued that police work ought to be society’s highest priority for employing the scare resource of competent blacks. But, in practice, nobody ever says, “Yeah, we’ll have to put up with fewer black firemen and astrophysicists (sorry, Chanda Prescod-Weinstein!) to ensure more competent blacks become cops.” Once your society gets started down the affirmative action path, it becomes almost impossible to politely point out that the supply of competent blacks is not infinitely elastic.
In other news from The Telegraph:
Experts raise concerns that image problems in plumbing could stop recruitment of people needed to install heat pumps
By Joe Pinkstone,
28 January 2023 • 2:34pm