British Transport Police Scraps Fitness Test over ‘Indirect Discrimination’ Against Female Officers

Community Support police officers stand guard in the departure hall at Kings Cross railway
Matt Lloyd/Bloomberg via Getty Images

British Transport Police have scrapped mandatory fitness tests after they were determined to promote “indirect discrimination” against females and because they were more likely to fail than their male counterparts.

The police force, which patrols railway stations in Britain, has been accused of sacrificing standards in favour of political correctness after it scrapped its annual Job Related Fitness Test (JRFT). Dubbed the ‘bleep test’, officers for the past decade were required to run back and forth on a 15-metre track for three and a half minutes.

However, according to a report from the Mail on Sunday, British Transport Police stopped requiring officers to do the test in 2022 because it was deemed as discriminatory to women officers, with 8 per cent of female officers failing the test as of June 2022 compared to just 1.9 per cent of male officers.

The test was also argued to be unfair to older officers, with 86 per cent of failures coming from officers older than 35 and 32 per cent coming from those over the age of 50.

The policy change means that at least 50 officers were reinstated to active duty after being relegated to office work or other light duties for failing the test. Now, only specialists such as armed police and K-9 handlers, as well as new recruits, will be subjected to a physical fitness test.

Commenting on the sliding standards, a serving officer in the force told the paper: “Members of the public call the police expecting officers capable of doing the job of protecting them.

“It’s embarrassing to see colleagues who can barely do up their stab vest, and knowing they might not even be able to manage a two-minute jog is not just concerning but dangerous.”

The director of people and culture for the Transport Police said that since scrapping the test “there has been no rise in injuries and it has meant we have returned 50 officers back to the frontline whilst avoiding any indirect discrimination”.

Meanwhile, a report from The Telegraph revealed this weekend that the move to permit women to join front-line forces in the British Armed Forces has been mired by female recruits failing to pass basic training requirements.

According to a Freedom of Information request of Ministry of Defence (MoD) figures, only 15 female recruits completed basic training for infantry or tank units between January and September of last year. Additionally, no female recruits were able to pass the training for the Royal Marines and less than five female recruits actually joined the infantry or armoured corps after passing the training.

The report went on to disclose that nearly half of all female recruits since 2019 had failed to complete the basic training course for the infantry or tank divisions.

Commenting on the figures, Britain’s former infantry commander in Afghanistan, Colonel Richard Kemp said: “It is no surprise that very few women want to volunteer to serve as tank crews.

“The same will go for the Infantry. After drop-outs and test failures, the numbers will be negligible. Having a very tiny minority of women serving in what will remain pretty much all-male units will be counterproductive and harmful to morale and combat effectiveness.

“The whole thing will turn out to be a very costly, damaging and futile exercise in political correctness – funded of course by the taxpayer. The Army did not want this, but it was forced on them by politically correct politicians.”

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