Police Must Focus on Fighting Criminals, Not ‘Symbolic Gestures’: UK Home Secretary

The police should focus on fighting real crimes rather than making “symbolic gestures,” the UK’s new home secretary has told police chiefs.

In an open letter dated Sept. 23, Suella Braverman said she was “dismayed by the perceived deterioration of public confidence in the police” and said that “culture and standards in the police have to change, particularly in London.”

“The public have a right to expect that the police get the basics right: driving down anti-social behaviour and neighbourhood crime which can so easily rip through our communities,” she wrote.

Police officers wear face masks as they patrol the city centre in Manchester, England, on Oct. 20, 2020. (Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

Braverman noted that “there is a perception that the police have had to spend too much time on symbolic gestures, than actually fighting criminals.”

“Drugs, vehicle theft, vandalism, and graffiti are not being treated seriously enough,” she added.

She said this situation “must change,” and that “initiatives on diversity and inclusion should not take precedence over common sense policing.”

She said she expects the police to cut homicide, serious violence, and neighbourhood crime by 20 percent, in line with the pledge Prime Minister Liz Truss made during her campaign to become Conservative Party leader.

‘Get Back to Basics’

In an article she wrote during the campaign, Truss said it’s “now time for the police to get back to basics and spend their time investigating real crimes—murder, burglary, and serious violence, not Twitter rows and hurt feelings.”

Truss said free speech would be protected in the code of practice governing so-called “hate incidents.”

Truss also promised that police and crime commissioners will have more powers to “veto training that focuses on identity politics.”

Earlier this year, it was reported that 30 police forces were among more than 100 public bodies that spent thousands of pounds on training programmes run by Stonewall, an LGBT charity.

‘More Interested in Being Woke’

Last month, the conservative think tank Policy Exchange said in a report that “British policing has lost its way,” as the public believe that the police are “more interested in being woke than solving crimes.”

The report, written by former Metropolitan Police officer David Spencer, said police should avoid behaviour such as “taking the knee,” which can “easily be interpreted by others as an expression of a partisan political view.”

In August, Stephen Watson of Greater Manchester Police (GMP) said that officers have ended up being involved in “stuff which is just not a policing matter,” and that it is undermining confidence in the forces.

In May, the UK’s chief inspector Andy Cooke said officers should stay away from “the different thoughts that people have” and focus on serious criminality.

Owen Evans, Lily Zhou, and PA Media contributed to this report.

Alexander Zhang

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The Epoch Times

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