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Identity-based police associations ‘not consistent’ with an impartial police service – we should stop funding them, says think-tank report

In this study, David Green looks into the growing importance of police pressure groups based on the racial, religious or other identities of officers.

Green asks if these groups, which are now officially recognised as staff associations or staff networks, are compatible with police impartiality. To act without fear or favour has been seen as the essence of policing since the first modern police force was founded in 1829.

Ultimately, the study concludes that ‘…officers should not be permitted to join sectarian groups because membership is not consistent with a commitment to providing an unequivocally impartial service.’

The Metropolitan Police now has over twenty staff associations that meet under the banner of S.A.M.U.R.A.I (Staff-support Associations Meeting Up Regularly and Interacting). (See notes for editors for more details.)

Sectarian demands

Green finds that they seek to advance the careers of their own members at the expense of other officers, who are sometimes regarded as oppressors. And they seek to change policing policy to the advantage of their own identity group.

The report identifies two demands made by identity-based groups that have grown ‘especially troubling’: the call for identity-based quotas in recruitment and promotions; and the encouragement of hate crime reporting.

Green is concerned for the new doctrine of ‘identity politics’ which has meant that police staff are increasingly ‘being encouraged to define themselves, not as people who deserve respect because of their ability and objectivity, but as members of an identity group, and especially their race.’

The doctrine is so deeply entrenched that, in the name of diversity, pagans in the police have been given time off to celebrate pagan festivals. The Home Office said the decision had been made because ‘The Government wants a police service that reflects the diverse communities it serves.’ (More detail in notes for editors.)

Green also found that sectional groups undermine police impartiality in the eyes of the public in that ‘They demand an interpretation of the law that benefits their own identity group, especially by defining innocent actions as ‘hate crimes’.’

Many of these recurring themes derive from a common source – American critical race theory (CRT) in which society is seen as divided into victim groups and their oppressors.

Policy recommendations

Green concludes that government and local forces should:

‘Stop funding the groups and use the funds saved to reduce crime’.

‘Deny official recognition to identity groups. Above all, stop holding meetings with them and insist that all contact is through the Police Federation’.

‘Reject the claim that the police should represent the racial, religious and other identities that have succeeded in gaining political recognition. The police are not there to represent anyone. Their job is to uphold the law. The primary test of the fitness of an individual police officer to wear the uniform is the ability to be impartial.’

‘Consequently, the police should not recruit according to race, or promote individuals to reflect identity groups. Merit and personal integrity should be the primary criteria.’

‘Challenge claims that our race determines our ideas and our ability to be fair. We all share a common humanity. Fair treatment is owed to all regardless of race.’

‘Scrap all divisive equality, diversity and inclusion training, and especially unconscious bias training.’

Notes For Editors

The Met Police and Identity Groups

The police are not allowed to join a trade union and not permitted to go on strike. They can only join the Police Federation, a staff association that must confine itself to negotiating pay and conditions. Now there are numerous staff associations with political objectives based on identity. The Metropolitan Police now has over twenty staff associations that meet under the banner of S.A.M.U.R.A.I (Staff-support Associations Meeting Up Regularly and Interacting). The group includes the Metropolitan Black Police Association, the Muslim Police Association, the Chinese and South East Asian Staff Association, the Hindu Association, the Jewish Police Association, Metropolitan Police Humanists, the Sikh Association, the UK Nigerian Police Association, the London Christian Police Family, the Metropolitan Police LGBT Network, the Greek and Cypriot Association, the Italian Association, and the Metropolitan Police Polish Association.

The Police Pagan Association

The leader of the Police Pagan Association claims that ‘Almost by default the PPA has become an occult investigation team’. Members were contacted because a ‘groundskeeper had come into work one morning and found an occult set up – a ram’s skull on top of a photo of a woman’s breasts, surrounded by 12 candles and an anti-church message – on the steps on the way into the cathedral’; or when horses are ‘maimed, because people suspect it’s the act of Pagans carrying out a ritual’; or when a young man was found with ‘an athame [a Pagan knife] on him.[i] The PPA claims the nature of the act ‘doesn’t necessarily mean it’s connected to pagans’, rather it could be children or someone with mental health problems who committed the crime.[ii]

The PPA is a member of the National Police Association of Strategic Leaders. Given the fact that one reason the PPA was founded was because Paganism was not recognised as an official religion in the police, it was hailed a success by the association when Pagan police officers were given the right to demand time off to celebrate Pagan festivals. A spokesperson for the Home Office said the decision had been made because ‘The Government wants a police service that reflects the diverse communities it serves.’[iii]




Is Identity Politics Undermining Police Impartiality?

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