Chief Constable Colin Port’s Avon and Somerset Police force is in the news again; not for disrespecting the High Court this time, nor for paying £90,000 of taxpayers money to to stop reports of a multi million pound contract in which he and his wife had a direct interest, nor even for paying out an ‘undisclosed’ sum in damages for discrimination against white applicants to his police force.
This time it is for his new uniform addition for his WPCs.
It is a hijab, in blue for community support officers, or black for the real deal WPC, just in case they find themselves in hot pursuit of a criminal Muslim (is there such a thing in this day and age?) who escapes into the local mosque.
Whilst the Metropolitan police do have a uniform issue hijab for their Muslim Officers, this is the first time that any police force has seriously suggested that all female Police Officers should show due respect for Muslim sensitivities whilst in the course of their duties.
Mr Port has never felt disposed to shell out for Mantillas in case his female officers ever had to enter a Catholic church in hot persuit of some criminal, nor for Tichels, Kippahs or maybe a fetching Shtreimel, should the local synagogue turn out to be harbouring an errant parking offender.
One has to wonder how far this desire to not offend Muslim sensitivities whilst arresting a criminal in a mosque will go – the Qur’an also demands that women do not directly look at men.
By the time they have kicked their shoes off at the door, donned their hijab correctly and then blundered through the congregation being careful not to look directly at anyone, I would imagine their chances of apprehending any self respecting criminal will be precisely nil.
Perhaps that is the point of it all. Let us not forget that under the Qur’an a woman’s testimony is only worth half that of a man’s.
Qur’an (2:282) – (Court testimony) “And call to witness, from among your men, two witnesses. And if two men be not found then a man and two women.”
Maybe Mr Port is just trying to save the taxpayer money when the case comes to court.