An exclusive association for Muslim police officers, backed with £10,000 from the SNP Government, was extended across Scotland’s eight police forces yesterday. Despite having only 46 members, with just another 90 Muslims among more than 17,000 officers in the country, the association could get more taxpayers’ cash.
Black and ethnic minority officers already have their own organisation, Semper Scotland, which has around 130 members – many of them Muslims – and receives £51,000 a year from the taxpayer. But the Scottish Police Muslim Association (SPMA), launched at the police training college at Tulliallan, Fife, is the only faith-based police group to get Government funding.
Harry Pearson, Strathclyde Police branch leader of the Scottish Christian Police Association, which has around 200 members, said: “There is a clear disparity between the way we are treated compared to Muslim colleagues. It would be nice if the Scottish Government treated us even-handedly. We have to manage on donations from our members.”
Laura Midgley of the Campaign Against Political Correctness said: “I don’t see why separate groups are needed. The police should be there to catch criminals, as simple as that. Setting up groups such as these simply creates tensions and division. Equality should mean equality. It flies in the face of everything politicians lecture us about.”