If you’ve ever worked in retail or sales, you’ve probably been required to meet sales targets or quotas.
Sales targets are often used in the retail industry to assess whether an individual is performing up to scratch, and to encourage employees to maximise business profits.
It seems that in an ever-increasing competitive environment, more and more organisations are adopting targets and quotas, ostensibly as a means of assessing individual performance.
In recent times, police forces around the world have been accused of imposing quotas upon officers which require them to meet targets for arrests, breath testing and drug offences.
If accurate, such allegations could undermine the integrity of the police force and foster a culture of unethical behaviour by officers who feel the pressure of meeting and exceeding targets.
The Problem With Quotas
Despite Mr Stewart’s assertions, several groups have condemned these practices, pointing out that quotas have led to people being punished for trivial offences such as speeding by one kilometre over the speed limit, rather than serious offences which actually pose a threat to the community.
Many also argue that the quotas foster unethical practices amongst police officers, such as illegal searches and intimidation in a bid to maximise arrest rates and appease superiors in the force.
The impact of these controversial targets has arguably already been felt by motorcycle groups who have been subjected to arrest and detention simply for having a drink with family members at the local pub.
Others argue that partygoers are being increasingly targeted for minor drug offences at large festivals.
Some also suggest that the imposition of benchmarks and quotas on police officers will lead to an increase in racial and economic profiling by police who will increasingly pick on ‘easy targets.’