51-year old woman wins up to £30k after failing riot police physical

This story from the UK Daily Mail shows how the political correctness of the left can go. (H/T Blazing Cat Fur)


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.

She brought a sex and age discrimination case against her force, Greater Manchester Police, and now stands to win up to £30,000 after an employment tribunal ruled in her favour.

The landmark case has opened the door for thousands of other women officers to claim payouts and has triggered a review of specialist police training across the country.

Insp Bamber, a serving officer for more than 30 years who still works for Greater Manchester Police, attended an Initial Public Order Commanders’ Course in Lancashire in November 2008.

She complained to the tribunal that prior to the course starting she had been led to believe that she would not have to take part in the shield run. But on the day of the test, Insp Bamber was informed that all officers who wanted to be considered for events where trouble was a possibility would have to pass it.

She agreed to run but she did not finish in the allotted time. Her failure meant she could not complete the rest of the training course.

[…]In her ruling, 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.’

The shield run was first introduced in the Eighties when Scotland Yard used it to test the fitness of officers policing the Notting Hill Carnival. Greater Manchester Police also conducted the runs for 30 years but has now dropped them.

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.

Last night [Conservative] MP Robert Halfon  said: ‘At a time when forces face enormous challenges and need to do all they can  to protect frontline service, it is bizarre they are being forced to use taxpayers’ money to pay compensation in cases such as these.’

Now ask yourself a question. If the police force was completely private, and had to compete for security contracts with other firms, how long do you think someone who could not pass the physical fitness exams would last? That’s right. But there is no choice and competition for government services. You just pay your taxes and the left-wing bureaucrats decide how much service you’ll get. Their agenda is not driven by concerns about serving you – the customer. Their agenda is about winning the votes of special interest groups by appearing nice. If you call for the police, and your life depends on it, then you can have a nice die, because no one is coming to save you.

8 thoughts on “51-year old woman wins up to £30k after failing riot police physical”

  1. Ran into something similar in the military. We were told that the military would not discriminate on the basis of gender while males and females had different requirements about the physical fitness exams they had to pass.


  2. I am really quite tired of women who want to be treated as equals to men in every employment, yet when they can’t pass the physical parts of tests they blame it on discrimination. Yes, we discriminate – we discriminate against the unqualified.


  3. When they opened up the paratroops to women in 1974, the women did not have to pass the strict physical fitness requirements to get parachute rated. Supposedly because they would never carry gear into combat, etc. But, if one’s body isn’t built up it doesn’t matter whether you are male or female, when you hit the ground it will hurt big time!


  4. I had agreed with your post right up until the end…why would you want a privately run, monetarily motivated police force where the more arrests they can make the more money they get? Too many police forces have corruption issues (look at all the forces in the US that have been taken over by the department of justice because of corruption), now you want to add another corrupting force?

    And, to counter another point you made, had it been private, all she would have had to do is sleep with the boss and she could have been given the appointment. The fact that it is government related (should) guarantees the standards are open to inspection; if it’s private, the manager in charge gets to determine the standards and they will remain trade secrets. I think you forget that upwards of 9 out of 10 businesses fail, so when you say it should be private, you’re really saying it should be like the minority of successful business that don’t fail…not an easy thing to accomplish.


    1. The profit motive is the VERY THING that makes them care about customers – since their salary is based on pleasing customers. It is exactly what is lacking in the case of the unionized government monopoly. We need choice and competition in as many areas as possible, in order to drive quality up, and price down. This is straight out of Adam Smith.


      1. The profit motive is the very thing that will infringe on your liberties. When it’s profit if liberties are infringed (arrested) and no profits if no arrests, what do you think will happen? You see it all the time with the red-light cameras. The companies administering them ignore all of the research that says a 2 second longer yellow light leads to fewer deaths and accidents and shortens it since doing so leads to more tickets (and more deaths and accidents). Profit isn’t always a great thing, especially when it comes at the cost of liberty.

        Note: my comment on infringed = arrested doesn’t apply to those truly guilty and needing to have liberties removed. But when you take the approach that we can just arrest everyone we want and let the courts sort it out, then you put an undue burden on the taxpaying public in the name of enriching yourself. Add on top of that that the majority of people do believe where there’s smoke there’s fire, it’s adding an even larger burden.


          1. currently, yes, but you want to give private companies the power to arrest and imprison to private contracts moving the responsibility from an entity that should care about society to an entity that is only designed to care about profit and nothing else and you don’t see a problem with that?


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