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Fedster

Met Police wants more female firearm officers to address gender imbalance

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mike88

Absolutely fine as long as they keep the standards the same. Unfortunately I've heard about women being given extra coaching and being allowed a second go at the beep test when their male colleagues have been binned immediately after failing.

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Funkywingnut

More nonsense that has no actual benefit.

Best people for the job, it matters not what gender or belief they have. 

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Zulu 22
2 minutes ago, Funkywingnut said:

More nonsense that has no actual benefit.

Best people for the job, it matters not what gender or belief they have. 

I could not agree more. Surely this is blatant feminism.  The only criteria should be are they capable and can they complete and pass the training. No reduced elements,  you can either pass or fail.

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Mazza
I could not agree more. Surely this is blatant feminism.  The only criteria should be are they capable and can they complete and pass the training. No reduced elements,  you can either pass or fail.


Can we not use feminism as a negative or a swear word please, it’s hard enough being a female in the job.

Feminism is about equality. If that means we have the same standards as men, bring it on.

I think it’s good to encourage more women to join. As a woman I find the so called “elite” units like PSU and firearms unattainable because they are male dominated and there are still so many cops that believe women should work with women and children.

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Zulu 22

There is no question about recruiting female officers, none at all. What we are talking about is recruitment to firearms officers. There is no problem with that either as long as it is a level playing field for all.  One standard of qualification, as Firearms is one unit where you cannot afford to have any weak link.  Any firearms unit can only be as strong as its weakest link and any weakness in either a male or female can be catastrophic for someone.

You can train someone to be capable with firearms but it is a completely different matter to be able to pull the trigger when you are about to kill someone. That takes any officer to another level.

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Growley

I can see why the culture of firearms policing might put some people off; most of the tactics ultimately require a lot of aggression and domination, and a lot of people aren't comfortable with that.

 

I have no problem whatsoever with trying to encourage more females to consider it as a career; provided the standards are kept the same (which I'm sure they will be)

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Inbtsiyp

There are thousands of female officers that have never and will never apply to be a firearms officer.

Some of them would not have applied as they think the role is not for them, they would not enjoy it or they would not be suitable and they would be perfectly right.

Some of them would not have applied as they think the role is not for them, they would not enjoy it or they would not be suitable and they would be wrong. Their opinions would have been formed based on misguided pre conceived ideas about the role, what it entails and what it would be like working with other firearms officers.

In a day an age when forces are struggling to recruit firearms officers it makes perfect sense to look at the reasons why and take sensible steps to address this.

Setting up insight days targeted towards females to help try and correct some of the pre conceived ideas and promote applications is sensible and not unreasonable.

I have no doubt the end standards will stay the same and this is only right. The only people that will qualify will be competent suitable officers and it will have nothing to do with their gender.

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Reasonable Man

I wrote a dissertation about this very subject. Specifically looking at whether physical fitness was a barrier to women going into firearms or other specialist roles. It clearly wasn’t - indeed of those officers who wanted a specialism a higher proportion of women passed the fitness test than men. The reason women were under represented was because they didn’t like the macho attitude on such squads and generally felt unable to because of taking on more of the caring responsibilities and/working part time.

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MerseyLLB

Personally I'd say firearms in all the forces I've worked in has actually not been a very 'macho' culture. If anything they tend to be alot more chilled out. The new joiners tend to try and be macho for a few months when they first swagger round in their new gear but that tends to be more about showing off to their former 'area' colleagues. 

Again, Tactical Team/TSG/Support Group etc, they might have a more fitness/gym culture which could be labelled macho but they are for the most part quite capable of a level of professionalism borne out of regular intensive training together.

The worst place I have found for 'macho' attitudes are district/BCU based niche teams - people who think they are support group etc. They tend to try harder to be 'ally' and you have certain teams where they all get the same haircut or have the same beards etc which obviously makes it difficult for a female to feel included from day 1. 

 

***

As for increasing the numbers of women in firearms- crack on. It's a physically demanding role but it requires only moderate strength. Most women who put their mind to it will pass the fitness test. The rest is about mental suitability. There's no part of me that needs the finger on the trigger that saves my bacon to be a male's.

I do dissent slightly with public order - I don't care about gender but the people I want on my running line I want to be the roughest toughest lumps who aren't scared to use their presence and weight. If you think crowds can't spot the 8 stone five foot 4 female on a cordon as a weak point youre living in cloud cuckoo land (8 stone 5 foot 4 males also apply). 

***

The answer is meritocracy of course. 

Provide additional targeted recruitment to under represented groups - but maintain high role based standards. That way everybody wins.

 

 

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Remmy

Nothing new or wrong with this idea, my old force ran recruitment weeks for females years ago. Unfortunately with limited success, it's not the misguided macho image that's the biggest block to recruitment. It appeared sensibly to be concerns regarding post incident that was the main block to recruitment.

However I do disagree with these recruitment drives only being open to females. The same opportunity should be open to all, there may be male officers who would make excellent firearms officers but are unsure if they are good enough or have concerns which could be answered. Nationally we are struggling to recruit enough officers to firearms to meet the uplift and keep pace with natural wastage.

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SD

Always makes me laugh this kind of thing because a FOI request to my force showed there were a disproportionate number of males in response yet there was no recruitment drive to change it. There was also a disproportionate number of females in office based roles yet didn’t see a male recruitment drive for that either.

The issue is partly societal, partly child care and partly a fitness level issue. None of which the forces are able to fix.

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Growley
Nothing new or wrong with this idea, my old force ran recruitment weeks for females years ago. Unfortunately with limited success, it's not the misguided macho image that's the biggest block to recruitment. It appeared sensibly to be concerns regarding post incident that was the main block to recruitment.
However I do disagree with these recruitment drives only being open to females. The same opportunity should be open to all, there may be male officers who would make excellent firearms officers but are unsure if they are good enough or have concerns which could be answered. Nationally we are struggling to recruit enough officers to firearms to meet the uplift and keep pace with natural wastage.
In fairness, at least in London, the shortage of officers in firearms roles overall has little to do with lack of interest, it's that a large proportion of people don't pass the course.

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Remmy
12 minutes ago, Growley said:

In fairness, at least in London, the shortage of officers in firearms roles overall has little to do with lack of interest, it's that a large proportion of people don't pass the course.
 

Agreed think most forces have a fairly high failure rate, but for that reason alone perhaps we should be trying to attract more officers?

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Growley
1 minute ago, Remmy said:

Agreed think most forces have a fairly high failure rate, but for that reason alone perhaps we should be trying to attract more officers?

A bigger pool of applicants can't hurt, but they really need to nail down the pre-course selection assessments here to make a significant difference in my opinion. 

I mean, if I were to really get into it, I'd suggest that the job needs to start changing initial recruitment standards to reflect firearms suitability, so they're actually ready when the current model inevitably collapses and they finally recognise the need for routine arming.

 

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