Sunday, December 03, 2006

Hot Potato

I'm going to break my own rules, as described in my post Correct Politicalness, to expose a recent complaint received by the Polis to investigate - I just have to. It caused a full blown discussion over our bowls of Cullen Skink and plates of mince n' tatties.

The scenario goes like this:

New family move into a leased flat in a tenement block. Existing tenant of another flat complains to factor (leasing agents) that there is an overpowering smell of curry emanating from the new occupant's flat on a daily basis. Factor calls Police and reports the matter as a Racist incident. Polis are required to investigate as the caller's perception is paramount cf McPherson Report i.e. 'any incident which is perceived to be racist by the victim or any other person'. The caller does not identify the ethnicity of any of the parties involved.

The enquiry reveals that the complaining tenant is a constant complainer, who complains about all and sundry and the new tenant's fondness for eastern delicacies is just another spurious pretext to add to his/her list of complaints about neighbours and was not racially motivated. Indeed the ethnicity of the new occupants wasn't even known to the complaining tenant.

The result:

No further Polis action, but a heap of paperwork, racial incident monitoring forms etc.

It also generated a healthy debate, but was interrupted by the next shout...... however, I won't tell you about that one, other than it didn't reek!


Annette said...

Please can you explain how it can be classified as racial when the complaining tenant didn't know the ethricity of the people he had complained about?

Annette said...

I have made a comment to you but wasn't sure if you got it. So may I ask again:

You said in your blogg that the incident "was not racially motivated" The ethnicity wasn't even known to the complaining tenant.

Why then, did you have to deal with a "racial incident monitoring form?"

Noddy said...


This is all down to who actually reported the matter to the Polis and THEIR perception of a racist/racial incident. The Polis MUST investigate this as recommended in the linked McPherson report. The tenant didn't complain to the Police, it was the letting agent that thought the tenant's view was racist. I shudder at the thought of saying this, but perhaps they made an assumption,which if you take to the nth degree could be perceived in itself as racist!


Noddy said...


As to the form - same story. No discretion. IT GOES IN.

I didn't call my blog TOYTOWN for nothing!

As an institution the Police now have to be pinker than pink (or add whichever colour you like).