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Do not use policing as ‘political football’, federation tells Suella Braverman

02 Sep 2023 3 minute read
Home Secretary Suella Braverman. Photo Stefan Rousseau PA Images

Policing should not be used as a “political football”, a body representing the profession’s rank-and-file has said after Suella Braverman accused officers of partisanship on controversial issues.

The Police Federation of England and Wales responded to the Home Secretary’s announcement that she has ordered a review into “police impartiality” by suggesting the Government wants its members to “act like robots.”

Deputy chairwoman Tiffany Lynch said: “Policing should never be put on any political agenda and is too important to be kicked around like a political football.

“Our members want to go out there and serve communities in the best way possible, but need help when the Government constantly changes the goal posts.

“One minute they want police officers to be more involved, the next, they want them to act like robots.”

Obsession

Labour criticised Ms Braverman for commissioning a report “into her own political obsession”, and the Liberal Democrats accused her of using the police “as a weapon in her culture war”.

It comes after Ms Braverman commissioned His Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) to review what she described as “activism and impartiality” in the police.

Giving examples, she said officers should not be taking the knee or “policing gender-critical views on social media”.

She told the Telegraph newspaper: “In recent years, we’ve seen an unacceptable rise in police partisanship and the police straying into politically contested areas.”

The Home Secretary, who once railed against the “tofu-eating wokerati”, is regarded as a divisive figure because of her remarks on “culture war” issues.

She has previously drawn a distinction between what she calls “common sense policing” of high-priority crime and matters of “political correctness”, which she says are often a distraction.

In her letter to policing leaders, Ms Braverman said officers should focus on tackling crime rather than being involved in political matters.

“The review I’ve commissioned will explore whether the police getting involved in politically contentious matters is having a detrimental impact on policing. I will leave no stone unturned in ensuring policing acts for the benefit of the British public,” she said.

Policies

A Labour spokesperson said: “Instead of setting out serious practical policies to tackle Tory failures, all the Home Secretary is doing is commissioning reports into her own political obsessions – and while she’s doing this, more criminals are being let off and more victims are being let down.”

Lib Dem home affairs spokesman Alistair Carmichael said: “For the Home Secretary to use the police as a weapon in her culture war while criticising them for being political is a new low – even by her standards.”

Ms Braverman’s announcement comes at the end of the Government’s “crime week” of linked announcements – part of its summer recess policy blitz, after “small boats week” and “health week”.


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Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
7 months ago

It is time for a vote of no confidence in this government and call the ‘Poppy General Election’ with hundreds of thousands more dead to remember, lost in the ‘Thirteen Year Social and Economic War’ against anyone but the en-Titled, the MPs and CEOs, the fittest and greediest of the UK…

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
7 months ago
Reply to  Mab Meirion

Looks like Laura K is really down for a Lady of the Garter this time so the BBC News output will be full on Rishi Ji from now on since Kirsty W the other night…It must be tough working there for some…

Another Richard
Another Richard
7 months ago

Policing should most certainly not be a political issue but the police bear much of the responsibility for making it one: cf Martin Shipton’s report of 29 August on Dyfed-Powys Police’s response to a women’s demonstration: https://nation.cymru/news/police-accused-of-bias-after-anti-trans-banners-are-seized/

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
7 months ago

Braverman is only one ‘ball’ it’s not even billiards, one is talking snooker here, to play with them all. To list them all would be too painful, like finding out your parachute has been sold for Indian cotton…

Catch 22 meets the Hammer House of Horror and the Keystone Cops in Carry on Chaos ‘The English Job’

Fi yn unig
Fi yn unig
7 months ago

Well done Tiffany Lynch for delivering a well deserved verbal slap down. How DARE Braverman even use the word ‘partisan’ in any context. You would think she’d have the ‘common sense’ to be a bit nicer to the Police given that her consistently inflammatory language amounts to incitement to hatred. This is a crime that any fit Home Secretary would know about. She may be untouchable whilst in her post but when she is no longer in it, the Police may well be interested in investigating her conduct.

Jeff
Jeff
7 months ago

Too late. Every organisation and proffessional body is being meddled with and briefed against if they don’t play ball. Dont forget the PM put her back in post after she should have been sacked for ever from any ministerial post. Cons will pull every stunt in the book and then some to retain power. Thier wrecking spree is not over yet.
Dont forget her moral level is seeing people trafficed to a nation that has shot refugees and will not be a good place for them.

max wallis
max wallis
7 months ago

Bravo Braverman ! However it’s happened, some police forces have shown bias against public campaigning by gender-critical women which Martin Shipton called anti-trans. As for the police becoming “robots”, that was just the problem created by their Stonewall training to repeat the slogan “transwomen are women”.and use ‘pronouns’ in a declaration of allegiance.

Steve Woods
Steve Woods
7 months ago

Authoritarian law enforcement organisation not right-wing enough for extremist home secretary.

No surprise there.

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