British Home Secretary Suella Braverman wants to tackle “political activism” in the police force and announced on Saturday the launch of an investigation into these practices that distract officers from their essential duties, an initiative that has been widely criticized by the opposition.
“The British public expects their police to focus on fighting crime and protecting communities. “Political activism does not keep people safe, solve crimes or support victims, but can damage public trust,” the conservative minister, who is very offensive against progressive “woke” activism, said in a press release.
In an interview with The Daily Telegraph, she denounced “the unacceptable rise of partisan political positions” within the police force, which is quick to “bend over to politically correct causes.”
She specifically mentions that police officers fell to their knees at the height of the Black Lives Matter movement in 2020, or that police were able to refer to rapists who identified as transgender with the pronoun “she.”
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Some elected officials and conservative media outlets also regularly denounce police spending to decorate some of their cars in the colors of the LGBT+ movement.
The police must “ensure that they adopt a position of strict neutrality at all times, even if this offends certain parts of society,” said the minister, who is known for her harsh statements about migrants or environmental activists, in this interview.
She also claims to have spoken to “hundreds” of police officers “who are fed up with the virtue-talking that certain police officers have devoted their time to instead of focusing on their crime-fighting work.”
The British police force in particular has been rocked by several scandals in recent years that highlighted the racist, misogynistic or homophobic behavior of certain officers and caused a stir in reports.
The announcement of this inquiry was condemned by the Labor opposition, which is well ahead in the polls of a Conservative government that is struggling a year before the next general election and after 13 years in power.
A spokesman condemned the minister’s initiative, which focused more on “her personal political obsessions” than on implementing “serious and concrete measures to correct the Conservatives’ mistakes.”
Liberal Democrat Home Secretary Alistair Carmichael criticized Suella Braverman for “using the police as a weapon in her culture war”.
The police are “too important to be used as pawns in the political field,” denounced the vice-president of the police union in England and Wales, Tiffany Lynch.