Tarique Ghaffur, Ian Blair and the Metropolitain Police Service

Tarique Ghaffur CBE is a high ranking police officer who has previously been tipped for further promotion. He has been in the headlines recently for his difficult professional relationship with Sir Ian Blair and the fact that he claims to have suffered from racism while serving in the Metropolitain Police Service (MPS). While the MPS have had many problems dealing with race, most famously being found guilty institutional racism, it should be noted that having started to write this piece in late September, it has since transpired that on the 2nd October, Sir Ian resigned his role as Commissioner of the Met.

While Sir Ian’s own career is an interesting subject for a future post, let’s stay focussed on Tarique Ghaffur.

As always, we are taking the top 10 posts from Google blog search to construct this post.

A breakdown of the 10 articles from Google blog search and their respective quadrants.

Self Awareness Relationships
3 0
Culture Business and Social Systems
5 2

Given the table above, two thoughts come to mind. The first being the emphasis on culture with half of the entries. Considering that Tarique Ghaffur is Asian and the historic role of race within the MPS, this is of no surprise. The second and a little more surprising is that there is nothing in the relationships box. While Tarique’s relationship with Ian has been a subtext for recent events, it is telling that none of the posts speak directly to this.

The lack of commentary on relationships is interesting for two reasons. The first and most obvious is the private nature of the interactions between Tarique and his colleagues. Given they have generally taken place inside the MPS, a genuine appreciation of what has transpired is not only difficult, but likely to be a key component of any forthcoming legal action. The second reason and perhaps less apparent is the relative simplicity with which the subtext of the interaction is being discussed. While the interactions have been private, it is interesting to see difficulties cloaked in their claims of racism or a lack of professionalism.

In situations such as this, it is often the unreported and apparently intangible elements of the relationships and people’s interactions that lies at the root cause of the difficulties, as opposed to circumstances that appear to be more tangible and objective such as racism, professionalism or appropriate consultations between officers.

What value knowing in advance of any potential challenges in the relationship between Tarique and Ian and being able to adjust accordingly?

We will watch developments with interest, particularly if more information on the type and nature of the interactions becomes apparent.

Each of the 10 posts and relevant extracts follow…

Self Awareness

The Wilted Rose

I am absolutely appalled by the way Tarique Ghaffur has been (allegedly) treated by the Metropolitan Police and by “Sir” Ian Blair (yes, he of Jean-Charles De Menezes; insensitive comments about Holly and Jessica; etc). He should be replaced, not by the usual public school & Oxbridge educated, white, middle-class copper but by someone who knows the patch and commands respect: as well as adding some diversity to the most senior leadership of this country’s police. Who would be the ideal successor to ‘Sir’ Ian Blair? None other than Tarique Ghaffur – he would make a fine, and well deserved, head of the Met.

The Indepdent

In a shock announcement yesterday Sir Ian Blair said that the Ugandan-born Assistant Police Commissioner, who is in the middle of taking the Met and Blair to a tribunal over alleged race discrimination, is to take an “authorised leave of absence”. Blair was keen to emphasise yesterday that the reason for the gardening leave was not linked to the discrimination claim but rather it was “the way [Ghaffur] has chosen to conduct himself. For example by the manner in which statements were made in his press conference, in conducting a media campaign, both personally and through the advisors and organisations supporting him.”

Doctor Bulldog

This is more than a simple ex-wife slandering her ex story. Her comments were very reserved and carefully thought out they are also blunt. As the UK’s highest-ranking muslim officer (one btw, who likes to toss out the race card) he should expect close scrutiny. You can bet we will be watching. Is Tarique what he seems; a fast tracking, seemingly competent and loyal officer or a scoundrel?

Business and Social Systems

MPACUK

The country’s most senior Asian police officer has lodged a £1.2m claim of racial discrimination against his own force, BBC News understands. Assistant Commissioner Tarique Ghaffur lodged the claim against the Metropolitan Police with an employment tribunal on Friday. He claims he was discriminated against on grounds of race, religion and age.

Inner Temple Library

Tarique Ghaffur ‘relieved of duties’ at Scotland Yard – Daily Telegraph. “Tarique Ghaffur, Britain’s most senior Asian police officer, has been relieved of his duty by the Metropolitan Police, the Daily Telegraph can disclose.”

Culture

The Impudent Observer

Tarique Ghaffur, who held the number three position in Scotland Yard was suspended for claiming there was discrimination in the police force.

Boatang and Demetriou

Today we have the latest BME person in the Met police of massive seniority getting all upset because he thinks he is being discriminated against on a grounds of race, and on a personal basis by Sir ian Blair. Tarique Ghaffur, the person in question, is the Met’s third most senior officer. I find the whole concept of accusing the organisation you work for of racism quite fascinating. I checked out the Equality and Human Rights Commission website and they have a section which explains all about race discrimination, what it is and how it becomes manifest.

The Adam Smith Institute

Ian Johnston, head of the Police Superintendent’s Association, has been making headlines over the past few days with his admission that the quality of service provided by the police is negligible. Indeed, public confidence in the police is extremely low – not helped by the perception that crime is getting worse or the unnecessary sideshow provided by Sir Ian Blair and Tarique Ghaffur. It is heartening then to see some kind of consensus emerging over the need to modernize, decentralize and make the police force more accountable to the people that they serve.

Pickled Politics

Given the appalling treatment of Tarique Ghaffur over the past few weeks, and I’ve not known anyone more loyal to the Met Police, I think this (The National Black Police Association is threatening to run a public campaign urging ethnic minorities to boycott the Metropolitan police) is a good move.

Race and Culture

An inquiry into allegations of racism in the Metropolitan Police has been ordered by Boris Johnson. Mr Johnson’s decision comes after the Met’s Black Police Association (Met BPA) announced it would launch an advertising campaign “actively discouraging” young black and Asian people from joining the force. It said that the suspensions of Assistant Commissioner Tarique Ghaffur – Britain’s most senior Muslim officer – and Commander Ali Dizaei were proof that ethnic minorities are treated unfairly.

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