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Michael Sheen joins calls for police boss to quit amid accusations of victim blaming

02 Oct 2021 3 minutes Read
Picture on the left by Tim Dennell (CC BY 2.0). Michael Sheen. By Rhododendrites (CC 4.0).

Welsh actor Michael Sheen has joined a chorus of voices criticising a Yorkshire police boss for victim blaming, after he suggested that women should be more streetwise about what they can be arrested for.

North Yorkshire Police Federation Crime Commissioner Philip Allot sparked rage when he suggested that women should clue themselves up on what was an indictable offence, and that Sarah Everard should never have submitted to arrest.

His comments followed the sentencing of Ms Everard’s murderer this week, during which it was revealed that her horrific ordeal began by being tricked into a false arrest by a police officer carrying a warrant card and handcuffs.

The former police officer who snatched Ms Everard from a busy London street in March was handed a whole life sentence, the first of its kind for a crime committed by a serving officer.

Fury

Hastily retracting his comments came too late for furious critics, including Michael Sheen, who called for his sacking for his insensitivity.

Sheen was unequivocal in his message to Allott, who has tweeted a “wholehearted apology” for his comments, saying: “If you meant them – YOU SHOULD BE FIRED. If you didn’t mean them then your judgement is severely flawed – and YOU SHOULD BE FIRED. If it took you that long to realise you were ‘insensitive’ then your reaction time is appalling – and YOU SHOULD BE FIRED. #FirePhilipAllott

Indictable

Conservative Mr Allott was speaking on BBC Radio York when he said “women should be aware this was not an indictable offence – one considered serious enough to warrant a prison sentence or crown court hearing.

“So, women, first of all, need to be streetwise about when they can be arrested and when they can’t be arrested. She should never have been arrested and submitted to that,” he said.

“Perhaps women need to consider in terms of the legal process, to just learn a bit about that legal process”.

After the furious outcry on social media, he tweeted “I would like to wholeheartedly apologise for my comments on BBC radio York earlier today, which I realise have been insensitive and wish to retract them in full.”

The police have come under fierce criticism this week following the sentencing of Wayne Couzens, for suggestions that women “runaway”, or “wave down a bus” or “refuse to submit” if a police officer apprehends them, putting the onus on women to protect themselves rather than suggesting ways of tackling the perpetrators.

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GW Atkinson
GW Atkinson
20 days ago

Of course it is a tory.

Kerry Davies
Kerry Davies
20 days ago
Reply to  GW Atkinson

Should the fact that he is a Tory make us any more accepting of his evil? If his voters and employers do not sack him they are as bad or worse and sadly it seems the English are in freefall down a fascist rabbit hole.

Huw Davies
Huw Davies
20 days ago

Nobody resigns anymore unless they are put under pressure ‘to do the right thing’. Cabinet ministers don’t, MPs don’t, so why would anybody else?

Hannergylch
Hannergylch
19 days ago

What the Police & Crime Commissioner should have said is that children need to be taught about their rights at school, and about the techniques that the police use to undermine those rights. For instance: Why you should never volunteer information to a police officer unless your lawyer strongly recommends that you do so. (Because you’re not protected by mutual disclosure obligations until your case goes to court.) Why you should never be intimidated into talking by “It may harm your defence if you fail to mention when questioned…” — it’s an empty threat that’s designed to help the police… Read more »

hdavies15
hdavies15
19 days ago
Reply to  Hannergylch

It reads as though he is the Police Federation commissioner not that area’s Force Commissioner, so probably some glorified Police union rep. These guys at all levels have plenty to be guilty about and one of their default responses is deflection. It fits neatly with the ages old attitude – “well, she ought to have known better than to stay out late ” – which reduces law and order to a point where the crime don’t happen cos there’s no victims available ! Might change his mind if his own wife or daughter was ever a victim but that’s a… Read more »

BobSnail
BobSnail
19 days ago
Reply to  hdavies15

The Police are no longer a “Force” by name. They have been a “Service” for some years.

Arfon Jones
Arfon Jones
19 days ago

He is the Police, Crime and Fire Commissioner for North Yorkshire and nothing to do with the Federation.

hdavies15
hdavies15
19 days ago
Reply to  Arfon Jones

If that’s the case then even more reason for him to resign and reflect on how daft he is.

Gill Jones
Gill Jones
19 days ago

Da iawn Michael Sheen. Rhaid edmygu a chefnogi dy safiad, nid yn unig ar y pwnc yma ond gymaint arall rwyt wedi tynnu sylw ato ynglýn âg anghyfiawder. Cadw ati, mae dy lais yn bwysig a diolch amdanat.

John Davies
John Davies
19 days ago

You just try being “streetwise” one day and telling a copper he cannot arrest you for what he proposing to arrest you. Go on, just try it and see what happens. But don’t try it if you have any doubts at all about the state of your heart, because if you have a murmur or other such condition being tasered can be fatal. If you survive the experience and manage to fight off the additional charges of resisting arrest and assaulting an officer, which will be stuck on whether or not you did anything at all, don’t bother to try… Read more »

Gareth
Gareth
19 days ago
Reply to  John Davies

Even when you have done nothing, the police will make up a false charge. Here is a police officer in Lancashire saying he will make up a story to arrest a man.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/police-arrest-make-something-lancashire-police-investigation-a9472416.html

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