People are “fed up of virtue-signalling police officers”, a senior policeman has acknowledged.
In an interview with The Telegraph, the Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police, Stephen Watson, said the police should concentrate on arresting criminals rather than “making common cause” with ‘woke’ agendas, such as displaying the multi-coloured LGBT ‘Pride’ flag.
He also warned that new ‘hate crime’ legislation would lead to officers “chasing their tails” and “detract” from their purpose of tackling real crime.
Chief Constable Watson said: “Whether it be through adulterating the uniform with pins and tabs and badges or whatever, and having all manner of florid social media accounts.
“These are all things which I think leave the public cold, and I just personally don’t think they have a place in policing.”
He told the newspaper that he took issue with “police officers putting rainbows on their epaulettes and wearing rainbow shoelaces”.
“I think we’re past the high watermark. The public are getting a little bit fed up of virtue-signalling police officers when they’d really rather we just locked up burglars”, he added.
The Chief Constable feared that demonstrating support for such political campaigns could threaten police impartiality.
He stated: “Officers could put themselves in a difficult place because if you demonstrate you’re not impartial, and you then have to make an arrest, how on earth do you assist the courts to come to just judgement as to you having executed your powers of arrest in an appropriately impartial professional manner?”
He also warned that calls to create even more categories of ‘hate crime’ could see the police swamped by “thousands and thousands” of additional investigations.
Such offences, he said, “sought to criminalise what people think about difficult social issues, as opposed to what they do” and would be “very difficult” to legislate.
Police forces have been told that they face legal action if they do not leave Stonewall’s controversial ‘Diversity Champions’ scheme.
Pressure group FairCop, led by former police officer Harry Miller, recently wrote to chief constables warning that action would take place against any force that had not left after “a period of consideration” had concluded.
Currently, around half of police forces in England and Wales pay upwards of £2,500 plus VAT to the lobby group for advice, which legal experts have said “misrepresents” equality law.
FairCop argues that “reasonable members of the public” perceive “a conflict of interest with police work and responsibilities, such that it creates the impression that the police are not able to discharge their duties impartially”.