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2 I LOCAL & NATIONAL NEWS Passion Islam I July 2008
the Passion
0.7% is not enough
Britain needs more Muslim police officers. But some
forces don’t even know - or won’t say - how many there are
When the inquiry into is from an ethnic minority constables or sergeants, and questions as to whether
the Metropolitan Police’s background, and only eight just one Muslim serves at Muslim officers are being
handling of the investigation of the 300 members of the the rank of superintendent or overlooked – and potentially
into Stephen Lawrence’s Association of Chief Police above. discriminated against – for
murder reported in 1999, it Officers are from an ethnic Finally, Muslim officers promotion or are failing to
rocked the force to the core. minority. Though the results are almost entirely absent receive the necessary training
The Met was not just found of our survey are admittedly in counter-terrorism and and support.
to have been incompetent, limited (just 20 of the 43 other specialist branches, It will be almost impossible to
but was guilty of institutional constabularies provided something that the improve this situation without
racism. In response, the figures specifically on Muslim Association of Chief Police proper information on the
then home secretary, Jack officers), four things stand Officers itself has been trying position and role of Muslim
Straw, pledged to create a out. to encourage. officers across all 43 police
force which fully reflected the First is the basic issue of The overall picture is forces. If we are serious about
diversity of the communities numbers: of a total of over worrying. Diversity and ensuring that Muslim officers
it served, and increase 76,000 officers surveyed, representation in the force are able to rise through the
ethnic minority recruiting and there are only 430 male are not just token phrases, ranks at the same speed as
retention. Muslim officers and 78 female nor are they simply a matter everyone else, and ensuring
Nearly a decade later, where Muslim officers (around of equality of opportunity for that Muslims are deployed to
do we stand? last months 0.7%). Muslims account individual officers. There is counter-terrorism duties at a
Observer splashed with a for 3% of the overall British an operational imperative: time of heightened national
report that chief constables population. to be effective, the police security, we need reliable
were blocking an audit we Secondly, there is a lack of must work in partnership data to track, progress and
undertook on the position of data about representation in with communities on a range measure success. That is
Muslim officers in the force. the force, and seemingly a of issues, from gun crime to why we at Demos are urging
We embarked on lack of willingness to provide terrorism, and it is therefore the Home Office to support a
this survey because of any. This doesn’t make life any sensible for the police to be commission to mark the tenth
continued concerns over the easier for anyone – especially able to draw on the full range anniversary of the Stephen
recruitment, retention and those trying to make the force of officers’ skills and attributes, Lawrence inquiry to establish
promotion – or lack there of more representative. be they cultural or religious, what progress has been
– of Muslim, ethnic minority Thirdly, Muslim officers are or linked to language or other made - and, of course, to
and female officers. Despite found mostly in the lower practical skills. see how much we still need
Straw’s pledge in 1999, not echelons of the force and Our survey does not allow to do.
much has changed: just are underrepresented in the us to provide definitive By Jamie Bartlett
one of 43 chief constables higher: around 95% are either answers, but it does raise Researcher at Demos
tel: 07506 466 385 or write to us at: Textile Hall, Hick Lane, Batley, West Yorkshire, WF17 5HW
email: info@passionislam.com - www.passionislam.com
Heading towards
words after referring to Muslims “He has apologised and taken
and bombs while apparently on the recommendations of
trying to encourage squabbling his governing body and local
race equality
youngsters in the playground authority.
to get on. “The police have also
The teacher has never denied investigated the family’s
using the words. complaints and found
training
Chris Edwards, chief executive no criminal act has been
of Education Leeds, said: “The committed and recommended
complaint has been taken mediation, which the family
A Leeds primary school extremely seriously. It has have refused.
headteacher has apologised been fully investigated by the “Additional race equality work
after talking about Muslims school’s governing body twice, has been organised, on top of
and bombs while dealing with and the procedure has been the two sessions every member
a playground squabble and will reviewed by both Education of staff had throughout the
undergo race equality training,
comments following a minor
Leeds and the council’s chief course of the year - including
education chiefs confirmed.
playground argument between
executive. one with a specific focus on
Jon Farley, head of Kerr
four pupils - all of them
“The headteacher understands dealing with incidents involving
Mackie Primary in Roundhay,
Muslim.
and regrets any offence caused, racial or religious name-
was asked to explain his
He has been told to watch his
which was not intentional. calling.”
This Magazine contains Ayaat of the Qur’an and Hadith of the Prophet (SAW), please ensure you handle it with respect & care - Sukran
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