“We Pay the Police to Fight Crime” Not “Dance With Drag Queens” Insists UK Home Secretary – Did That Really Need Clarifying?

In a recent address to the Commons, Home Secretary Suella Braverman delivered a strong message, urging police chiefs and elected officials to prioritize the reduction of crime and the restoration of public confidence, rather than engaging in what she termed as “playing politics.” Here’s the full story.

The Suggestion

Braverman’s remarks came in response to Conservative Nick Fletcher’s words that an increased police presence on the streets, rather than the promotion of perceived ideological agendas, would lead to more crime-solving.

Braverman said, “My honorable friend is quite right. We pay the police to fight crime. Whether that’s a focus on antisocial behavior, the nuisance bikers or burglaries, as he’s mentioned.”

“They are there to keep people safe. We do not pay them to wave flags at parades, to dance with drag queens, or to campaign,” she added.

Not Playing Politics

“That’s why I finally ended all association with Stonewall at the Home Office and why I expect all police and crime commissioners and chief constables to focus on cutting crime and rebuilding confidence, not playing politics,” she continued.

She also expressed concern over what she viewed as an “unacceptable rise” in instances where police officers appeared to align themselves with specific groups or causes, from participating in the Black Lives Matter movement to joining parades and displaying certain flags.

Braverman contended that such actions had eroded public confidence in the police force.

Issues of Racism

However, critics argue that Braverman’s stance may not fully acknowledge the complexities of the issue.

Earlier this year, an independent review of the Metropolitan Police revealed deeply ingrained issues of racism, misogyny, and homophobia within the force.

This prompted the head of London’s Metropolitan Police to issue a formal apology to the LGBTQ+ community, acknowledging past failings and committing to the reinstatement of LGBTQ+ community liaison officers across the city.

Several social media users expressed their thoughts on the incident.

One Twitter user wrote, “Braverman completely misses the point here. The police are being paid to look out for the safety of all people during demonstrations (like Pride).”

Building Confidence

Another user added, “I would say that having the police involved in Pride is absolutely a way of “building confidence” not “Playing politics”.  We really need a vote soon because I want to play politics myself.”

A third user commented, “So pull the police from Pride? Do the same for every other large public event and see what happens. The police dance and have fun at Notting Hill Carnival, are you going to stop that too?”

A fourth user wrote, “No, but we expect them to engage with hard-to-reach communities in regard to reporting crime and putting a stop to hate crimes.  Especially the LGBTQIA+ and ethnic minority communities who have been failed repeatedly by bias and failure to act by police services.”

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