The cynical outlook for British Home Office role: Is Mr. Javid an ideal tool for harsh measures against Muslims in the UK?

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In a message sent to Mr. Sajid Javid, I wrote:



“As a Muslim, I would feel deeply insulted, if this argument were to have a trace of truth in it. Muslims all-over the world would feel more pain than ever inflicted on them throughout the colonial history of the British Empire in Muslim countries. This goes with the metaphor that “most pain an axed tree incurs stems from the fact that the handle of the ax is made of wood.”



Although this message had been sent to The Right Honorable Home Secretary many weeks ago, he did not respond to it. The Muslim community in the UK and worldwide would require solid facts in order to challenge such cynical views. As my role is to present a fair analysis of arguments of both sides of the debate to my readership based on such facts provided by him, the case remains open, or perhaps suspended, pending Mr. Javid’s answer.



In the meantime, whether Mr. Javid would/wouldn’t accept/advocate being used/abused/exploited as an “ideal tool for harsh measures against Muslims in the UK”, we must do our homework assessing what sort of devastating kits he has at his disposal to carry out that task “properly and efficiently”.



Perhaps the very handy tool he has got would be to turn a blind eye to (if not advocate) infringements of the law at the hands of members of his own law enforcement divisions.



The following analysis should enable Mr. Javid to have a better insight as to how to handle the situation, based on his own convictions.



Law Enforcement Force:

Are there any shortcomings??

  • Policing in England and Wales is in a “potentially perilous state”;
  • Police officers are being assigned to investigations that they are not qualified to conduct;
  • Investigations being shelved;
  • Vulnerable victims being let down;
  • Tens of thousands of dangerous suspects remaining at large;
  • Concern at HMIC that officers are not properly discharging their responsibilities;
  • In too many forces, there is a lack of grip, supervision, active management;
  • Some areas of policing are on the critical list and heading towards intensive care;



www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/mar/02/inspectorate-police-engaging-dangerous-practices-austerity-cuts-diane-abbott

  • Sir Tom Winsor, the Chief Inspector of Constabulary, in the 2015 State of Policing report said: “I have concerns about the extent to which some chief officers allow their forces to disregard what is required of them and adopt systems, processes and practices which are not consistent with national requirements.”
  • This has shown itself in many areas. HMIC’s inspections have found forces which do not comply with the statutory regime.
  • Sir Tom Winsor observed that it is “disappointing to reflect on the number of occasions when HMIC has had to report that the recommendations in its reports have not been implemented adequately or, in too many instances, at all.”
  • In such an important area of policing (stop and search), the response of the police service as a whole to HMIC’s 2013 report is unacceptable; that it relates to the failure of chief officers to ensure compliance with a regime laid down in a statutory Code of Practice is inexcusable.

Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Constabulary, The State of Policing: the Annual Assessment of Policing in England and Wales 2015, 24 February 2016

How can better training equip officers to serve and protect the public?

When the public recognizes that the police are:

  • demoralized,
  • disconnected,
  • not interested, and
  • not responsive to their issues;



then crises could happen

Elements to be observed

  • justice;
  • legitimacy and
  • delivery of services

Is bad conduct a training issue?

  • This is not a training issue.
  • This is an issue of who it is that we’ve decided we would allow to police our country.
  • This dates back to the beginning of policing.
  • Policing was never designed to take care of the people that it is being forced upon.

Donald Grady, a retired police chief with over 30 years in uniform

www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/07/police-training/490556/

Where would improvement be required?

Training or recruiting?

  • Whom you hire to do the job makes a difference.
  • We use the same criteria for hiring police all across this country. When I got to my last police department, the relationship between the police and the community was terrible. The police hated the public, and the public hated the police ...
  • I decided I needed to find the right people, so we changed the criteria for hiring instead of doing the things that the police typically do to find what they consider to be the best qualified candidates.
  • There’s a certain amount of aggression that they look for in a person. I’ve known people to be rejected from police departments because they weren’t aggressive enough ...
  • Why are we hiring people to do policing because of their level of aggression?

  • I can teach you to be appropriately assertive. What I can’t do is pull unreasonably aggressive tendencies out of a person.
  • We took a look at criteria psychologists recommend for bringing people in.
  • Psychologists look for a more sensitive, empathetic, rational person.
  • The law professor Seth Stoughton argues that there is a distinction between police who adopt the mindset of a guardian, and those who approach their job as warriors.
  • In general terms, the former see their role as that of peacekeepers and protectors, while the latter see themselves more as enforcers and wielders of authority.

So, the issue is a combination of both training and recruiting

Is that where things went wrong in the UK??

UK Law Enforcement Force Recruitment

www.prospects.ac.uk/jobs-and-work-experience/job-sectors/law-enforcement-and-security/joining-the-police



Minimum eligibility requirements. These vary between police forces, but in general you should:

  • be aged 18 or over
  • be a British citizen, a citizen of a European Union (EU)/European Economic Area (EEA) country or Switzerland, or a foreign national with indefinite leave to remain in the UK without restrictions
  • have lived in the UK for the last three years (although there are exemptions if you have served abroad with the British armed forces)
  • possess a qualification equivalent to A-level.
  • Some forces, including the Metropolitan Police, require that you pass the Certificate in Knowledge of Policing (CKP) pre-joining qualification.



Members of political groups such as the British National Party (BNP), Combat 18 or the National Front cannot apply

Recruitment process

(www.policeoracle.com/careers/how_to_become_a_police_officer_the_application_process.html)

  • Send application.
  • The chosen force that you have applied to will check your eligibility and mark your competency questions.
  • Then comes The Assessment Center step.
  • At the center you will be tested on your written English skills, verbal reasoning, oral skills and your mathematical skills. ‘Police Initial Recruitment Test’ (PIRT).
  • These will be tested in a number of ways, interview, role-play and written tests.
  • The PIRT is a competitive process, with approx. 60,000 to 80,000 candidates applying to join the police service each year and about 8 percent being successful.
  • You will be invited to attend a medical and a fitness test.
  • Offers of appointment are subject to references and security checks. The references given in your application will be taken up and a security check will be conducted. Security checks can take a while if you have lived abroad for any period of time.
  • If successful, you will be appointed ... Initially for a 2-year probationary period.

Training

Main Body: College of Policing

  • Launched in December 2012 as a professional body to develop the knowledge, standards of conduct, leadership and professionalism required by police officers and police staff in England and Wales.
  • The College was established as part of the Coalition Government’s program of wider reform of the structure of policing bodies.

https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201617/cmselect/cmhaff/23/23.pdf

Any concerns??

Inquiry, which is part of the House of Commons Home Affairs Committee’s regular scrutiny of the College of Policing, reads as follows:

  • Our predecessor Committee that first considered the role of the College in 2013 as part of a broader examination of Leadership and Standards in the Police Service were concerned that the Board of the College lacked diversity and the necessary skills required for its role.
  • The Committee heard that the College was not able to communicate directly with members of police forces and found that there was a lack of recognition of the College amongst police officers and inconsistencies in approach to its guidance from Chief Constables.



https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201617/cmselect/cmhaff/23/23.pdf (4th Report 2016-2017)

  • There has been only limited progress in the extent to which the College of Policing is recognized and respected by the rank and file members of the police service.
  • The College has more work to do to build a strong relationship with police officers.
  • Success will not be achieved by their efforts alone.
  • We do not believe sufficient support has been forthcoming to date.



House of Commons Home Affairs Committee https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201617/cmselect/cmhaff/23/23.pdf

Training

National Policing Curriculum



The categories are:



www.college.police.uk/What-we-do/Learning/Curriculum/Pages/default.aspx

Training

Ethics

  • The Code of Ethics sets and defines the exemplary standards of behavior for everyone who works in policing
  • Chief Constables must have regard to the Code in the discharge of their functions.
  • The Code of Ethics is a supportive, positive, everyday decision-making framework and is a constant reinforcement of the values and standards Policing is proud of. It is intended to encourage personal responsibility and the exercise of professional judgment; empowering everyone in policing to ensure they always do the right thing.
  • If the public don’t have the confidence to trust the police to be fair, acting ethically and in their best interests, they are less likely to assist the police in upholding the law.



www.college.police.uk/What-we-do/Ethics/Ethics-home/Pages/Ethics.aspx

Training:

Code of Ethics


Any Concerns??

  • We (Home Affairs Committee) have reported frequently on instances where the performance of the police has not met the ethical standards required of it.*
  • It is unacceptable that police forces in England and Wales are failing to embed the College of Policing’s Code of Ethics.**
  • If policing is to move on from controversies and scandals such as Hillsborough and undercover policing then reassuring the public of the integrity of those involved must be the first priority.**
  • The College and the National Police Chiefs’ Council must work harder to ensure that the Code is instilled “in the DNA” of serving officers.**
  • The College must set out what additional steps it is taking, including what practical benchmarks it is proposing in light of the HMIC report, to ensure that the Code of Ethics is fully embraced by Chief Constables and serving officers so that it becomes rooted in police culture, throughout the ranks.**
  • The serving officers should be required to acknowledge the Code of Ethics formally by signing a copy of it at the end of their training.**



*Home Affairs Committee, Third Report of Session 2013–14, Leadership and standards in the police, HC 67, 1 July 2013; see also Home Affairs Committee, Tenth Report of Session 2014–15, Evaluating the new architecture of policing: the College of Policing and the National Crime Agency, HC 800

** https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201617/cmselect/cmhaff/23/23.pdf

Code of Ethics

Any evidence for implementation??



While Alex Marshall, Chief Executive of the College of Policing, informed the House of Commons Home Affairs Committee that the College of Policing does not have the resources to audit progress made in individual forces in implementing the Code of Ethics (https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201617/cmselect/cmhaff/23/23.pdf),



the College maintains that:

  • A lot of research has been carried out on this subject, e.g. national surveys of public satisfaction with policing, British Crime Surveys, and HMIC and IPCC r​​eports on police integrity 2011 and 2012.
  • A few of the m​​ajor findings are:

    The public does not view police corruption as one of the major problems in society. However, they view integrity as an issue the police service should tackle and also view it as necessary to maintain trust and confidence in the authority of the police.
  • The way the police interact with the public day in, day out is central to public trust and confidence. Seeing police action as legitimate encourages the public to comply with the law and cooperate with the police.
  • It is important for victims of crime that they feel they have been treated with fairness and respect by police, regardless of the outcome of the crime being investigated.



Findings are not indicative of implementation

Code of Ethics

Any mechanism for implementation assessment?



ONLY Surveys

  • – Crime Survey of England and Wales
  • – IPCC public survey
  • – Standards in Public Life survey
  • – HMIC public survey



www.college.police.uk/What-we-do/Ethics/Documents/Data_pack_Public_trust.pdf

How strong is the survey evidence??

  • While complaints have increased, they are unlikely to reflect the totality of public dissatisfaction with the police
  • A relatively high proportion of people appear not to complain because they do not think anything will happen as a result
  • There is some evidence to suggest the public thinks police corruption is a problem, though direct experience appears to be relatively limited



www.college.police.uk/What-we-do/Ethics/Documents/Data_pack_Public_trust.pdf

So, what is the alternative for evidence assessment??

Civilian Oversight Method



Common Goals of Civilian Oversight of Police:

1. Improving public trust;

2. Ensuring accessible complaint processes;

3. Promoting thorough, fair investigations;

4. Increasing transparency; and,

5. Deterring police misconduct.

Civilian Oversight Method

  • Over the years, issues of trust and accountability have moved to the forefront of community-police relations. Therefore, a great deal of scholarship should be devoted to enhancing police performance through the strengthening of law enforcement oversight functions.
  • Officer-involved misconduct (e.g. shootings, in-custody tortures/deaths and claims of racially and ethnically biased police practices) should be monitored through organizational reviewing mechanisms. One such available mechanism that could be implemented in the UK is The Civilian Oversight of Law Enforcement method. This could include:
  • Investigation-focused method adopts improving accessibility of the complaint process, ensuring thorough investigations, complainant satisfaction and ensuring that complainants received justice.
  • Review-focused method tends to identify the importance of goals associated with the complaint investigation process.



https://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net/nacole/pages/161/attachments/original/1481727974/NACOLE_AccessingtheEvidence_Final.pdf?1481727974

  • Triggers for Law Enforcement Oversight: Local crises involving local police and community complaints over racially disparate policing and excessive use of force, racially and religion-biased actions.
  • Implementing oversight as a proactive, pre-emptive and preventive policy effort and not as the result of a specific critical incident.

Law Enforcement Agencies distinctly in need of

Civilian Oversight Method



There are agencies, whose function allows for a steep power-gradient between its officers and members of the public, which could be abused – sometimes even relished - by the officers.



These include, but not limited to:

I could write volumes on misconduct committed by these and other agents. However, due to space limitation I would refer readers to British media, where reports are in abundance on the subject.

Finally, this is a sincere message being forwarded -with all due respect- to Mr. Sajid Javid, drawing his kind attention to the facts set out therein. The essence is a bona fide intention for the benefit of all parties involved, including him, the very Right Honorable Home Secretary of the British Government, who is entrusted on all UK population sects and factions; minorities, majority, colored and whites alike.

Dr. Amin Kashmeery

— The author is Emeritus Professor of Physiology, and Former Head of Bioethics Section at King Saud Bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences, Jeddah/Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. He can be contacted at: oxforefo@yahoo.com


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