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February 25, 2010
Orde denies Muslim officers face extra security vetting
President of Association of Chief Police Officers has denied that Muslim officers face extra vetting for Muslims but accepts that there are vey few in counter terrorism strategy section.
“The only additional level of vetting is when you go to a sensitive job, no matter who you are. There is no difference whether you are Muslim, Christian, Hindu etc,” Sir Hugh Orde said in an exclusive interview with the Editor of The Muslim News, Ahmed J Versi.
“The harsh reality is that there are not many Muslim officers in senior position,” Sir Hugh said Although he did not know the number of Muslim counter terrorism officers, he said: “Just because there aren’t any Muslims in these positions, it does not mean that we don’t take the issue seriously.”
Muslim police officers complain that security vetting system is putting obstacles in the way of recruitment and promotion of Muslim police officers, especially those of Pakistani origin. In addition, Muslim officers recently said that they are concerned about the Prevent strategy and find it very difficult to work in this area.
In his interview, Sir Hugh also said that he still held the belief that we should negotiate with al Qa’ida, which provoked controversy nearly two years ago. He said the success in Northern Ireland, where he was the former chief constable, was “around conversation” with the IRA. This takes long and is difficult but “we have a better outcome.” He argued that at some stage we will have to talk to terrorists.
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