Sikh victims of crime in London are to be given the option of asking for a police officer of their own faith to work on their case.
Palbinder Singh, chairman of the Metropolitan Police Sikh Association (MPSA) said: "It's about understanding and appreciating difference.
"I don't believe a white officer is ever going to be fully conversant with a Sikh for example."
Now what really annoys me about this bit, is that Mr Singh has failed to notice that 'Sikh' relates to a particular invisible magic sky-pixie (or is it multiple sky-pixies in Sikhism?) were as 'white' refers to the colour of someone's skin. Race does not equal religion, or vice versa. Or are victims allowed to specifically state that they want someone who believes in Sihk fairy-stories AND has brown skin? I dare Mr Singh to try that one...
Then of course there is the obvious, if a bit Daily-Maily, issue of role reversal. How do you think the MPSA react if a white victim complained that he/she didn't want their crime investigated by an Asian-looking officer with a funny turban? I am a staunch Pastafarian, would I be able to specify that a Pastafarian officer dealt with my crime? (I would be happy specifying that my crime would be dealt with at all, given the attitude of the modern police force)
I do think that there is a lot of benefit to be had from officers with specific cultural knowledge, which could be very handy given that certain 'cultures' like to force underage girls to marry their cousins, or kill women who dare to have sex before marriage (assuming they are cabable of having sex, if they've been lucky enough not to have their genitailia mutilated), but to go this far is just ridiculous.
The Met said the new service, which has been pioneered by the MPSA, could be extended to other minority groups in future.
No particular group should be pandered to, especially not by the police, and it saddens me that in 2009 people are still so keen to segregate themselves on religious grounds. I've not made any secret of my hatred of religion (not of religious people - of religion), and this kind of bullshit from the met does my head in, and I'm sure will just infuriate the majority of the population, and also piss off a few Sihks along the way. Nobody likes being patronised.
Now, maybe I'm being cynical here, but I wonder how big the Sihk vote is in London......
PS. Incidentally, from what little I know about Sihkism, I understand that it's one of the 'less bad' religions.