Home Secretary slams cops for 'taking the knee' and 'dancing with activists' as she orders review into 'woke' policing

2 September 2023, 11:13 | Updated: 2 September 2023, 13:02

Suella Braverman has slammed 'woke' police officers for 'eroding public trust'
Suella Braverman has slammed 'woke' police officers for 'eroding public trust'. Picture: Getty/Alamy
Kieran Kelly

By Kieran Kelly

Suella Braverman has launched a review into police impartiality as she accused officers of "taking a political stance" on social issues.

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The Home Secretary slammed some police officers for taking a 'stance' on social issues concerning race and gender, saying it had "eroded" public trust.

Ms Braverman listed a number of social causes she says some police officers have taken a side in, which included taking the knee during Black Lives Matter protests and "enforcing non-existent blasphemy laws".

"The British people expect their police to focus on cutting crime and protecting communities - political activism does not keep people safe, solve crimes or support victims, but can damage public confidence," Ms Braverman said.

"The review I've commissioned will explore whether the police getting involved in politically contentious matters is having a detrimental impact on policing."

Suella Braverman
Suella Braverman. Picture: Getty
A police officer takes the knee during a Black Lives Matter protest in London
A police officer takes the knee during a Black Lives Matter protest in London. Picture: Alamy

The Home Secretary also claimed in a letter to the Chief Constables of England and Wales that police officers have been "dancing with political marchers" and painting police cars with the "Progress flag".

The Progress flag is an updated version of the LGBTQ+ community's traditional Pride flag, which is multicoloured to represent the different communities within it.

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In recent years, the Progress flag has added black, brown, pink, pale blue and white stripes, to represent people of colour, as well as the trans community, and those living with HIV/AIDS.

Ms Braverman has taken aim at the flag as she says it "symbolises highly contested ideologies".

She went on: "I would like to remind forces that flying flags requires careful consideration.

"Many flags, including the 'Progress flag', are likely to require express consent from the relevant planning authority.

"At the same time, officers should not be wearing or waving flags or badges that undermine their oath of impartiality or which lead members of the public to question their impartiality."

LGBTQ+ Progress flag
LGBTQ+ Progress flag. Picture: Getty

The Home Secretary wants the report's findings by March, the Home Office said.

The Labour Party has said Ms Braverman is "wasting her time" by launching such a review.

A spokesperson for the party 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."