SUMMARY Academy/station. These officers are subject to a ‘special interest’ that many of them would rather be without. The report’s first section also raises the question of whether one needs to be particularly resilient in order to succeed as a police officer with an ethnic minority background. The interview material gives the impression that, as a member of a minority, one must constantly be ‘alert’ and do one’s best. The interviewees’ experience generally seems to be that minority officers must constantly ‘prove’ that they are worthy of the job, or that they are good enough ‘in spite of’ being who they are. If that is the case, it could help explain why some drop out of the Academy and others do not even consider applying. JARGON AND HUMOUR The second section focuses on police jargon and humour, which seem to play a decisive role in relation to the solidarity and smooth functioning of a police officer’s workday. An outspoken and direct approach to things means that the very violent experiences police officers must at times endure are processed along the way. However, that outspokenness also results in the internal use of unnecessary expressions and manners of speaking to one another that can verge on harassment in the legal sense. When expressions such as perker and perkerbetjent (derogatory terms for ethnic minorities and ethnic minority police, respectively) are used about colleagues, it is because they have become part of the internal jargon. In any case, the interview material gives the impression that the manner of speech is rarely attributable to a negative relation among colleagues. 15
16 SUMMARY Nonetheless, it is important that the police take the jargon seriously and dare to set some limits to what can be said to one another or the kind of language that can be used at muster, in the guardroom, etc. Under the Act on the Prohibition of Differential Treatment in the Labour Market, it is management’s responsibility to ensure a harassment-free environment. Going up the chain of command to pass comment on one’s experiences is reportedly more easily said than done; one risks putting relations with colleagues to the test and police officers rely heavily on solidarity among colleagues when under pressure. It seems likely that the internal police environment is not conducive to making those with an ethnic minority background feel that there is space for them. This runs the risk that those who have already been admitted will become harder to retain and that others will rule out the police as a possible career option from the outset. VISIBLE AND CENTRALLY PLACED The third part of the report concerns a number of considerations and concrete recommendations expressed by the interviewees with respect to attaining a police force characterised by greater ethnic diversity. There seems to be a recurring notion in the responses that in the effort to reach the target of a more diverse police force there should be no loosening of the requirements or ‘selling out’ on the principles of how a police officer should behave. Rather, the effort to identify and motivate obvious candidates should be intensified.