Police forces around the UK have been criticised for spending tens of thousands of pounds on subscriptions to Stonewall and other ‘LGBT expenditure’.
Fair Cop, an organisation which aims to work with police forces to ensure the public’s right to freedom of speech is not infringed, obtained the data through Freedom of Information requests.
In its report, the group accused police forces of breaking their own Code of Ethics by “endorsing and participating in political protests”, despite officers being prohibited from being publicly involved in political issues.
According to the report, Lancashire Police spent £53,508 between 2010 and 2019, including £14,012 in 2017–18 alone.
Avon and Somerset Police, meanwhile, spent £2,500 alone on a subscription to Stonewall last year, and more than £4,200 on attending LGBT conferences and events.
For ‘Pride 2020’, the Metropolitan Police says it spent £1,000 on 150 police ‘rainbow’ epaulettes, £1,000 on ‘pride’ polo shirts and £700 on stickers for its ‘pride vehicle’.
It has spent £12,500 on membership of Stonewall since 2017, while Gwent Police spent £14,000 on ‘supporting and promoting LGBT groups and causes’ over the same period.
Fair Cop noted that a number of police forces across England and Wales did not respond to the Freedom of Information requests, declined to answer, or provided incomplete information, which the group said was “deeply concerning”.
It said: “The police are paying significant sums to political organisations in return for ‘training’ and endorsements, and then spending more money to have their officers promote these causes.
“This is institutional capture on the grandest scale imaginable. And it’s all happening in plain sight and obvious to everyone except, it seems, the Equality and Human Rights Commission. This is the body set up in 2007 that is responsible for the promotion and enforcement of law concerning human rights and non-discrimination.
This is institutional capture on the grandest scale imaginable
“Fair Cop has twice written to the EHRC for their view on the politicisation of the police; we haven’t even had the courtesy of an acknowledgement. Maybe that’s not so much of a mystery when you learn that the current Chair is ex-Stonewall boss David Isaac CBE.”
Tom Goodenough, writing in The Spectator, pointed out that many of Stonewall’s resources are “clearly political, not least in its representation of trans issues”, and that its assertion that “trans women are women” is “highly contentious”.
He said that “it seems worth asking the question of whether the police – a supposedly politically neutral organisation – should be paying for Stonewall membership given its insistence that ‘trans women are women'”.