Met Police is forced to ditch ‘racist and misogynistic’ detective degree course

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Met Police is forced to ditch ‘racist and misogynistic’ detective degree course

A course taught to trainee detectives in the Metropolitan Police has been dropped after university lecturers said it was 'racist, misogynistic and dis

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A course taught to trainee detectives in the Metropolitan Police has been dropped after university lecturers said it was ‘racist, misogynistic and discriminatory’ and refused to teach it.

The training programme contained a case study which involved stereotypes of Asian and Middle Eastern immigrants as drug dealers, money launderers, rapists and child abusers, according to the Times.

The newspaper reports that the case study featured a role-playing scenario that centred on a Turkish drug dealer who uses a Gurkha knife to murder a Chinese money-launderer.

The training programme is taught at four London universities – Brunel, Anglia Ruskin, the University of West London and the University of East London – and is outsourced to a private company Babcock International.

According to the Times, the Met’s crime academy and retired officers helped draft and approve the case study, which also includes incest, throat-slitting, self mutilation and attacks on a disabled child.

The force has insisted the content is drafted by the ‘academic team’ with ‘operational input from the Met, including colleagues from the Crime Academy’. 

A course taught to trainee detectives in the Metropolitan Police has been dropped after university lecturers said it was 'racist, misogynistic and discriminatory' and refused to teach it

A course taught to trainee detectives in the Metropolitan Police has been dropped after university lecturers said it was 'racist, misogynistic and discriminatory' and refused to teach it

A course taught to trainee detectives in the Metropolitan Police has been dropped after university lecturers said it was ‘racist, misogynistic and discriminatory’ and refused to teach it

The controversy is the latest in a series of blows to the force which, last month, was dramatically placed in special measures for the first time ever due to concerns about ‘serious or critical shortcomings’.

A letter from HMICFRS cited numerous fiascoes at Britain’s largest force, including the murder of Sarah Everard by serving officer Wayne Couzens, the ‘racially profiled’ stop and search of the Team GB sprinter Bianca Williams, and the strip-search of a 15-year-old black schoolgirl known as Child Q. It follows further scandals, including the failure to properly investigate serial killer Stephen Port and the revelation of racist WhatsApp messages exchanged by officers at Charing Cross Police Station.

University lecturers tasked with teaching the controversial case study slammed it as discriminatory. 

Ruwan Uduwerage-Perera, the UEL course director and a founding member of the National Black Police Association, said in an email to his lecturers seen by the Times: ‘The material is absolutely awful. The scenario is discriminatory.’

Meanwhile, Gurpal Virdi, a former Met detective who taught the case study, said the content was why ‘nothing was changing’ in the police, adding: ‘As educators we cannot allow young minds to be contaminated with racism and discrimination. 

‘Policing is about keeping an open mind rather than narrow vision.’

Ruwan Uduwerage-Perera, the course director at the university of East London (pictured above) described the course material as 'absolutely awful' and said it was 'discriminatory'

Ruwan Uduwerage-Perera, the course director at the university of East London (pictured above) described the course material as 'absolutely awful' and said it was 'discriminatory'

Ruwan Uduwerage-Perera, the course director at the university of East London (pictured above) described the course material as ‘absolutely awful’ and said it was ‘discriminatory’

Lecturers at the universities where the content was taught refused to include the case study in their lessons, prompting the force to affirm that new trainees who take the course this summer will be taught a different case study.

A spokesman said the force works in commercial partnership with Babcock International to deliver its recruit training for new police officers and pointed out that Babcock, in turn, partners with the four London universities who offer the course. 

The spokesman added: ‘The professional lecturing teams across Babcock and these Universities hold responsibility for designing and delivering a number of elements of the training, which is then reviewed and approved by the Met before use.

‘All training content aligns to the National Police Curriculum which is owned by the College of Policing’.

The force said the content was subject to ‘robust quality assurance’ through the universities.

The case study was taught on the Degree Holder Entry Programme for Detectives and was first taught in September and October last year. 

The spokesman said: ‘Case studies are designed to cover a range of complex issues delivered by suitably qualified and experienced higher education lecturers from the Universities who can ensure that material is appropriately contextualised and anchored to the achievement of learning outcomes.’

Recruits were surveyed about the content of the course and the Met says no initial issues were highlighted in respect of this case study.

But it added: ‘Subsequent feedback was received by a small number within the lecturing team regarding the level of complexity and the potential for misinterpretation in the delivery of the material to ensure that sensitive, diversity linked, subject matter was appropriately framed and culturally sensitive.

‘As a result, each University was given delegated authority to adapt the case study locally using their professional judgement and understanding of their local lecturing team capability in order to ensure that any risks of misinterpretation were removed.’

The Met confirmed that from this summer, new recruits will be taught an alternative case study after recognising that ‘all case studies have a natural shelf life’. 

Babcock International has been contacted for comment. 

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