British Sikh Police Association strides ahead

By Will Astbury

The British Sikh Police Association has announced that it is meeting several national organisations to create guidance on how to treat Sikh cops.

The association (BSPA) is in talks with the Home Office, the Association of Chief Police Officers and the National Police Improvement Agency in an attempt to create guidance that will “form the basis of policy for individual forces”.

This news comes after a Sikh cop was awarded £10,000 compensation after an employment tribunal ruled, on Friday 2 October 2009, that  Greater Manchester Police (GMP) had indirectly discriminated against him .

Gurmeal Singh, 31, accused his employers of discrimination on race and religious grounds. He said he was forced to take off his turban during riot training because officers wanted him to wear a helmet.

Police constable Singh, who joined the force six years ago, said he felt humiliated at being made to remove his turban and like he had been made to betray his oaths to Sikhism.

He left work sick in 2008 because of fears he maybe made to remove his turban again for another training session. Mr Singh said he was also concerned that he might be made to wear his turban on top of his helmet as depicted in the BBC’s ‘Only Fools and Horses’.

The BSPA statement said: “The British Sikh Police Association is very pleased with the result of the employment tribunal brought by Gurmeal Singh.

“The GMP is the second largest police force in the UK but the number of Sikh Police Officers and staff that it employs is one of the lowest. We are concerned that it does not reflect the community that it serves. Greater Manchester Police is going to have to work hard to win the respect and the confidence of the Sikh community.”

The BSPA have suggested that outcome of PC Singh’s case will pave the way to ensuring that Sikh cops do not face the same discrimination in the future.

The GMP have since invited the BSPA to work closely together to resolve future issues.

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One Response

  1. Manchestermouth provides an interesting and unbiased perspective on minority issues in Manchester; particularly as it successfully avoids the sensationalism and terminology common to the tabloid press.

    Hence I feel that it would be more appropriate to use the term ‘policeman’ rather than ‘cop’!

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