Our favorite paper the Daily Mail has an article out filled with pictures of the disturbing riots which are occurring in the UK. One thing which really struck me was the small stature of the riot police in the photographs. Maybe it is just me, but these don’t look like a very intimidating lot. Then I saw this picture, which is even more surprising. I think an appropriate caption would be: We’ll have this riot sorted out in short order!
I know this was an emergency, so perhaps they were short staffed? Or could it be that they had to assemble a riot squad on short notice? Perhaps this is a demonstration of their new small unit tactics? Feel free to play at home and suggest your own explanations in the comments section. Some of those riot police are so small, it reminded me of a jackass skit (NSFW):
Elsewhere in the article they show this picture of what they call a female robocop standing watch. I’m guessing the editors saw this as projecting an exciting image of girlpower. To me she looks unimpressive, and in fact appears frightened. I’m sure the feminists in the audience will disagree, but to me it looks like she is playing riot squad. Shouldn’t she have been equipped with a big enough truck and a belt fed weapon, so she could whoop with glee and intimidate the rioters?
All of this reminded me of a story Oz Conservative noted in his recent post on the topic of the riots. As the Daily Mail explained several months ago, Insp Diane Bamber sued for discrimination because she felt that the physical requirements for the riot squad were unfair to a woman of her age:
For 30 years it has been used to test the fitness of officers who police riots and other outbreaks of serious public disorder.
The so-called ‘shield run’ involves officers covering a distance of 500 metres in less than two minutes, 45 seconds while wearing full riot gear and carrying a shield.
But when Inspector Diane Bamber, 51, failed to meet the time limit, she claimed she had been left humiliated.
That’s right! Physical standards humiliated her! Unconfirmed reports have it that her girl power and moxie were both seriously bruised by having to actually do more than dress up and pose in the gear of a riot officer. She was further aggrieved by the officers who would have to
make up for her unfitness serve with her should a riot ever occur:
When Insp Bamber applied to retake the shield run, it is alleged that one of her colleagues remarked: ‘She’s got no f****** chance.’
Fortunately, this travesty did not stand and the tribunal ruled in her favor.
Judge Hilary Slater said Insp Bamber’s claims of indirect sex and age discrimination were ‘well-founded’.
Noting that the officer had ‘suffered humiliation at being sent away from the course’, Judge Slater added: ‘The tribunal concludes that the claimant was put at the disadvantage suffered by women and persons of her age group in that she failed the test and was not able to complete the training.’
She could recieve up to £30,000 for her bruised girlpower and the department has now lowered the standard enough that even she was able to pass the newly watered down test. This opened the floodgates for similarly
unqualified discriminated against women in the police force:
The Mail on Sunday understands that the Association of Chief Police Officers is now 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.
Edit Aug 11: Commenter ruddyturnstone pointed out that the picture I linked to from the original article is not in fact of Insp Bamber, but of her neighbor. From the bottom of the Daily Mail article:
The newspaper version of this article on June 12 carried a picture said to be of Insp Diane Bamber. In fact the photograph was of a neighbour. We apologise for the mistake.