British Transport Police accused discrimination as white man barred from recruitment workshop
British Transport Police has been accused of discrimination after it emerged white men have been barred from workshops for aspiring officers.
The session is put on by the force to help recruits with their application forms and subsequent assessment day, by staging mock tests and offering question coaching.
But the workshops, in Manchester, Birmingham and London, are only open to “women and Black/Minority Ethnic groups”.
And when a male applicant - who had made it through the first stages - asked if he could attend one to get help with the next assessment day, he was denied a place.
The 48-year-old man was told by BTP the interview prep day was only open to “women and Black/Minority Ethnic groups currently under-represented in the force”.
He has accused the force of discrimination and inequality and claims serving officer pals say “quotas” is resulting in “sub-standard recruits”.
The unnamed man said: “I wanted to go so I could be as prepared as I can be for the assessment day.
“I understandably want to get the most knowledge and help and support to help me do the very best I can on the assessment day.
“I saw the workshop and thought it sounded crucial. But then I saw the small print saying it was not open to me.
“Not only did they refuse to let me attend a workshop, they said I could email questions only.
“I would be at an unfair disadvantage on the assessment day having been refused a workshop only available to the groups they stipulate.
“Also the advert does not include the LGBT community.
“I am a white heterosexual male. How can a public service blatantly support this kind of discrimination and inequality in 2017?
“It has made me consider withdrawing my application.
“People should be treated the exact same. This is discrimination.
“I feel it’s discrimination to me as a white man.
“They want to fulfill their quote of a certain person to fulfill there public appearance.
“I think candidates should be judged on merit. It should be the best person for the job.
“Just because I am a white man doesn’t mean I can’t connect with people from other groups.
“I have a friend who is in the police and when I told him he said they were getting substandard officers through because the BTP is so hellbent on fulfilling their public image.”
The two-hour workshop is advertised on the BTP website as a ‘Police Officer Application and Assessment Centre Workshop’,
It offers candidates help with their application form - and the assessment day which follows.
The workshop includes “coaching through the competency based questions, assessment centre preparation, and question and answer sessions”.
There will also be a chance to meet police officers and take part in “practice sessions to complete the ability tests”.
The website page states: “British Transport Police understand that it’s only natural and indeed sensible to want to prepare for the recruitment process to be a Police Officer with us.
“To support you through both your application and subsequent assessment centre we would like to invite you to a workshop on Wednesday 11th October 2017.
“In line with our Positive Action initiative we are initially only offering this workshop to women and Black/Minority Ethnic groups who are currently under-represented in the Force.”
Simon Downey, director of capability and resources at British Transport Police, said it is “vitally important” the force “reflects the diverse community that we serve”.
He added: “We’ve carefully studied the reasons why there might be barriers preventing people from these backgrounds applying to the force and are taking steps to help address this.
“These workshops are designed specifically to speak directly to these groups and to increase the number of applications from them, ensuring our force is more representative of the communities who use the rail network.
“Every application we receive will be judged on their individual merits and no one will be discriminated against or favoured because of their ethnicity or gender.”