I'll tell you straight forward, right now.. Home Office Stats usually are bound to be wrong..
For instance. If I stop you on the street at 2am and ask you what you are doing near an industrial building (and you say walking the dog and then it comes trotting out of the undergrowth) I have to fill in a form (great use of police time there when there is no crime!)
So I duly fill in my form with 42 odd questions on it, several of which are related to YOUR ETHNICITY. What the F*&K has your ethnicity got to do with me or anyone else?
I first have to select your IC code which says what "I" think your ethnicity is. Who am I to be able to say that. After all, what I say is Asian is apparently Oriental, etc.. odd really.
I then have to ask you to define your own ethnicity.. Personally I find this demeaning and belittling to ask people and I always apologise for it. If I can possibly avoid asking you your own ethnicity I will do so. Why should I ask? It makes no difference at all as to how I deal with you as a criminal, or a victim of crime... These are called the 16+1 codes and believe me when I've had a lot of people who didn't understand what the hell I was on about when I asked them to define their own ethnicity.
I will then ask you what your Nationality is!! Holy Crap, it's the Spanish Inquisition!!!!
You haven't committed any crime, you were walking your dog right?? You aren't even suspected of a crime.
So why do we ask all these questions?
To add to H.O. statistics on how many people are stopped and of what ethnicity they are. Hmmm.... such a great topic I could start here which would open a can of worms like you wouldn't believe!!
As for me - I refuse to define my ethnicity. After all. Why should I? It's got nothing to do with ANYONE other than ME! - I do NOT like the option of "Not Stated" as it sounds wishy-washy, tell the police officer to write that you "refuse to define".
Tomorrow I'm going to write about the new possible Pay Freeze on Police, Nurses and Teachers... stay tuned...