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Colour vision and firearms/traffic

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Hello all,

I'm trying to find as many officers who are in the above roles and have a form of colour deficiency. I a appreciate that some may not want to advertise the fact that they have a colour defect but if there are any officers out there who don't mind I would love to hear from you.

I am a serving PC with West Midlands and I'm compiling evidence in regards to colour deficiency and the effectiveness of officers in those roles. I am of the opinion that defective colour vision has absolutely no bearing on a persons ability to satisfactorily do those jobs. I have found significant scientific evidence to back this up and I'm looking to put this to the college of policing and occ. health/HR in west mids.

I would also love to hear from retired officers with colour defective vision who have performed these roles and their experiences.

I'm looking forward to any replies. I will not mention any names/forces if required. This is merely a fact finding exercise at the minute as I'm looking to build evidence. Please PM me with queries/contact details or I can supply you with my email address.

Thanks

Chris

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I'm sure your original post wasn't being ignored. Perhaps nobody here fits the criteria you are looking for. I know of one colour blind / deficient officer, but he's not in a specialist role.

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Chris - dare I suggest you contact the local federations for the 43 forces within England and Wales and ask if they can assist rather than a public BB where you may find non officers can respond and therefore give a false number. If you speak with Debbie Hodson she may be able to assist.

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Already done. The fed can't/won't help. Their position is they would only step in if an application was made, refused and then challenged. Even then if the job said they were happy with the standard in place the fed (in their words) said the challenge would be dead in the water.

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Just to clarify, I've spoken to the force dr in my area. He returned the official line. I've spoken to the relevant departmental inspectors, who again quoted the official line. I got in touch with the college of policing who claimed colour deficients pose a risk under the ECHR (right to life) and evidence giving, to which a stated case Webster vs CC Hertfordshire disproves. I spoke with a professor who's study is oft quoted by the college (done for PSNI) who originally quoted her original verdict but after talking with me agreed that actually no work at all, ever had been done on colour vision and policing. I've spoken with people in Australia who have had laws changed over there in relation to colour deficients and there are stated cases there as well as scientific research for NASA in my favour. In certain parts of the world I can fly a 747, take part in a space mission, be a advanced grade driver and carry a firearm but here I can't. And I'm not talking about undeveloped countries. There is a massive flaw in the system and it's currently discriminatory against a large proportion of people. I could talk about this for hours and provide information that disproves the official line from every angle. All I'm doing here is trying to rally numbers.

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Don't think you will rally many. The highest priority that must be given in any Police work is safety. I was not aware that they had changed any criteria, as if someone was colour blind then they would not pass a medical, and quite rightly.  The fact that some countries are not prepared to have high standards is no reason to lower ours.

 

I am wondering why you are asking this question, it may be for personal motives that you want to do something which you are precluded from doing. 

 

Just think of a firearms situation where a command was authorised "Take out the one with the green coat, of the one with the purple hat".  The reply might come back "Which one is that."   If a person is even unlikely to not be safe in a post, then he/she should not be in it. Nothing to do with discrimination of any form.  

 

I wonder what would happen if someone with HIV and Aids said "I want to be a surgeon", same principle. :huh:

Edited by Zulu 22

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Zulu, please don't be offended by what I am about to say but that is the kind of ignorance I'm up against. The term colour blind is incorrect and the lack of understanding of colour deficients is mind boggling. Are you a serving officer? If so you would know that you will never receive the order from anyone to shoot the guy in the green top. The NDM should highlight this to you. It is a very complexed issue that can not be covered on a forum. The simplest way to highlight how I see things would be this. We can both watch the same film and enjoy it in the exact same way. We can talk about it after and we will both see the same film and enjoy it in the same way. I will just see it slightly differently to you. I can see colours (not black and white), I just see them differently. If you would like to learn more go to Cvdpa.com. It's a site about colour deficient pilots but if you go to the further reading section colour deficiency is explained quite clearly there. Hopefully that will make things more understandable or you. Again please don't get upset with my reply. It's not personal.

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Perhaps Zulu doesn't understand colour blindness and perhaps those that make decisions about suitability of applicants for specialisms don't understand colour blindness, but equally perhaps the magnitude of the problem that you face is one so small, that it simply isn't going to merit any in depth investigation.

As I mentioned previously, I know of only one officer who is colour blind and I have 27 years in. He had to jump through hoops to get in the job, despite being a Special for many years prior to becoming a regular. He was a bloody good Special and now a very committed officer. He has been in specialist departments, but not those linked with danger, like Firearms or Road Policing, but then perhaps those specialisms just don't float his boat.

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Perhaps Zulu doesn't understand colour blindness and perhaps those that make decisions about suitability of applicants for specialisms don't understand colour blindness, but equally perhaps the magnitude of the problem that you face is one so small, that it simply isn't going to merit any in depth investigation.

As I mentioned previously, I know of only one officer who is colour blind and I have 27 years in. He had to jump through hoops to get in the job, despite being a Special for many years prior to becoming a regular. He was a bloody good Special and now a very committed officer. He has been in specialist departments, but not those linked with danger, like Firearms or Road Policing, but then perhaps those specialisms just don't float his boat.

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Tommo, up until 2006 I think colour vision defective applicants were precluded entirely although some did slip through the cracks and get in. I'm aware of PCs with your level of service that are CVD and have managed to specialise in firearms and traffic but only by hiding their deficiency. Funnily enough they have never been found out per se and have never had any issues. I'm trying to find more of those people to help me build a case to take to occ health and the college of policing. I myself have a standard driving grade and have done for many years and never had an accident. Also I've never confused the traffic lights in 20 years of driving. I've never arrested the wrong person or used force on the wrong person because of my wonky eyes. Also we now have a much better understanding of how the eyes process information for the brain and the importance of colour as far as I understand it is way down on the list of importance after many other things. Also approximately 10% of the male population is CVD in the uk. What happens if they call a job in and inadvertently get the colour wrong? The opinions on CVD are grossly outdated and misrepresented and not understood by the majority of non CVD people. If you have the inkling type into Google PC Robert Webster vs Hertfordshire police. Extremely eye opening.

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This probably fits somewhat in with the minimum eyesight requirements - the standard was set years ago.............and things have moved on somewhat, not least with the developments and quality of contact lenses, let alone laser eye surgery.........

 

We used to have a height requirement too.............and a fitness requirement that was more taxing..........things change.........

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ITYO, I get your angle. The job is ignoring a large talent pool potentially of officers more than capable of doing the job but can't because of the old age rules.

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