Greater Manchester Police: As one of Britain's largest Police forces, Greater Manchester Police will be shrinking by almost a quarter, as nearly 3,000 will lose their employment, forming part of a huge programme of reform aimed at saving £134million in the wake of the Government's spending review.
Whilst this is going on, Greater Manchester Police now stands to pay out £30,000, after an employment tribunal ruled that a woman Police Inspector had been 'humiliated' by failing to pass a riot test.
For 30 years, the so-called 'shield run' it has been used to test the fitness of Police Officers who police riots and other outbreaks of serious public disorder. The 'shield run' requires Police Officers covering a distance of 500 metres in less than two minutes, 45 seconds whilst wearing the Police's full riot gear and carrying a shield.
When the Woman Police Inspector failed to meet the time limit, she claimed she had been left humiliated and therefore brought a sex and age discrimination case against Greater Manchester Police.
The shield run, first introduced in the 1980s, to test the fitness of Police Officers, has now been dropped by the Greater Manchester Police. Now the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) is now believed to be reviewing the lawfulness of the physical training formats for 13 specialist operational roles, including those for firearms officers, which could discriminate against women and older officers.
So what do the tax paying members of the British Public, who require their Police to protect them from riots and disorder;
Callan from Liverpool;
"Quite right, drop the qualification time so the elderly, infirm and pregnant can comfortably compete. Better still, drop the physical training all to-gether and get the police into the classroom to learn anger management therapy for dealing with rioters."
James, ex forces;
"I was in the Army about 15 years back when "gender-free" physical fitness tests were introduced - I'm amazed the Police have not also considered them. That distance in that time is barely more than a jog. The point for a senior officer is not only can you do it with your coppers, but have you got enough puff left to effectively command anti-riot operations having arrived in time? Clearly, in her case she couldn't even keep up. Still, if the standard is 2 mins 45 seconds, it's the standard. Riots don't wait for the PC brigade to catch up! Either she can do it, or she can't, and if she can't, it's a real shame that £30K of taxpayers' money is being spent to cover up her embarrassment."
Carole, from Ipswich;
"That woman has single handedly made fools of any other woman who wishes to be taken seriously in any male dominated career. If you cannot do the job thats needed it is generally because you CAN NOT do the job needed but someone else could. Moving the goal posts to accomodate her should be more humiliating. Ridiculous, someone who cannot do the job of such a great importance efficiently just puts her/his colleagues at greater risk."
A peasant from the Shires;
"Like all good leaders, Inspectors lead from behind ... I kid you not!"
Rob from Trowbridge;
"Presumably if she gets hurt in a riot she will claim that the reduced training standards left her vulnerable and get another pay-out. Some just know how to get those nice windfalls."
While the Woman Police Inspector will be paid out her compensation, many of her colleagues, some who probably passed the 'shield test', face an uncertain future. Greater Manchester Police Chief Constable has admitted that the services provided by Greater Manchester Police, could worsen because of the spending cuts.
By the end of the financial year 2014-2015 there will be a 23 per cent reduction in Greater Manchester Police employment numbers. These job losses are aimed at saving £134million as a consequence of the Government's spending review...
Madness! Utter madness! As a nation we are doomed! Get out now whilst you have a chance!