While I realise that the police force is unrepresentative of the wider community and failing to meet its diversity targets, I don’t believe positive discrimination is the answer (Letters, Personnel Today, 22 May).
No form of discrimination should be tolerated, and the fact the Met Police HR director backs affirmative action is totally beyond me.
It would be more advantageous to establish the reasons why black and minority ethnic (BME) recruits are not being offered positions, and tailor/host recruitment and pre-training activities that would increase their chances of becoming police officers. Then there would be no argument about ‘lowering standards’, and this would create a win-win situation for all.
Affirmative action is not the best option for all concerned and, if used, would subject BME officers to further discrimination by colleagues. They would have to work twice as hard to gain the respect of their colleagues, which would distinctly disadvantage them from the start of their career. Is this really the way we want to address such issues?
If we want to encourage participation from BME applicants, then there should be plenty of resources available to support individuals and create opportunities that would assist them in achieving the standard while allowing them to gain the job on their own merits.
Lisa Atkin, HR professional