Respect for the meritocratic system took a near lethal blow as a female police officer won nearly £15,000 in damages after claiming a test was “too tough” for women.
WPC Kim-Louise Carter attempted the fitness test to become a dog handler for the Gloucestershire constabulary but failed and was subsequently withdrawn from the two-and-a-half-hour exam. The test included a 10km run followed by having to carry a dog, in this case weighing 35kg, over a course known as “The Long Walk” in wet and muddy conditions.
She failed during the Long Walk, describing herself as having “dug deep, real deep” to keep up with the men who were moving at a faster pace than her. “I could lift the dog but had nothing left to carry him. I just couldn’t get any momentum” she added.
The tribunal was told that women were under represented as dog handlers in Gloucester, Avon & Somerset and Wiltshire police forces, all three of which use the same exam and have significantly more men in their dog handlers than women.
“Where a standard test had negative impacts on members of a protected group, here women, then it either needs to be changed or objectively justified,” said the judge.
Despite failing in the exam she certainly succeeded in her landmark sex-discrimination case, walking away with a large sum of money while also setting a bad example to women country wide and spitting in the face of the meritocratic system.
Wouldn’t it be better to have people that are capable of doing the job? That can achieve the basic level of fitness that is required for the role? Whether male or female, those who are not up to scratch should not be considered.
This fitness test, which had the same pass mark for males and females, saw much more men pass than women. There is a very good reason for that, the simple physical difference between the sexes.
There is however a darker aspect to this, it sets a president for other sex-discrimination cases where they should not be. How much more of the court’s time and taxpayer’s money will be wasted on unnecessary and opportunist cases, where a whisper in the ear from a money hungry lawyer can convince a woman that she is a victim and deserves unearned money.
Our emergency services have a standard that needs to be met for a reason, imagine a 20 stone police officer chasing after a criminal as he is hurdling over the fences of people’s back gardens. It’s an absurd image, and one that mustn’t be allowed to occur. In this scenario would the criminal be expected to slow down so that the officer, wheezing and suffering a stitch, may catch up?
When merit is sacrificed at the altar of equality and diversity, the standards immediately drop. We must not suffer the moral degeneracy of affirmation action or lower the standards for self-proclaimed “protected groups.”
The simple take from this is, get better or move on.
Picture – DENISE BRADLEY