Former home secretary said it was ‘deeply concerning’ staff networks had ‘strayed beyond the acceptable bounds of political impartiality’
Vegan and pagan police groups are among more than 200 “staff networks” criticised for “distracting” officers from fighting crime in a report backed by Priti Patel.
The former home secretary said some of the so-called staff networks had blurred the lines between politics and policing as they campaigned on issues from veganism and climate change to Islamophobia and trans rights.
The report by the think tank Policy Exchange, which is close to the Government, found the staff networks had “strayed well beyond the acceptable bounds of political impartiality required of those in policing.”
They included examples of groups which had criticised the police’s use of the term “Islamist” for Muslim extremists, linked up with an organisation that has called for the abolition of the Government’s counter-terrorism Prevent programme and attacked trans critics like JK Rowling.
In a foreword to the report, Ms Patel said it was “deeply concerning” that at a time when police chiefs complained of “strained resources,” many of the staff networks were engaging in “an unhealthy internal competition for attention and resources rather than pursuing a relentless focus on serving the public.”
“Some of policing’s staff networks have blurred the lines between politics and policing. It is critical to our democratic settlement that police officers and staff stick to operational policing while politics is left to democratically elected politicians,” she said.
“This report clearly demonstrates that too often policing’s staff networks are crossing that line and failing to maintain the appropriate boundaries of impartiality that are so critically important. This cannot be good for policing, it cannot be good for the public and it cannot be good for our democratic settlement.”
The report found staff networks had grown by more than 83 per cent since 2010 including the Vegan Network at Cleveland Police, slated in 2022 as the country’s worst performing force, West Yorkshire Police’s Green Network set up “primarily to lobby” on policy and the National Police Pagan Association.
READ ON BELOW…Vegan LGBT police groups distracting officers fighting crime Priti Patel
Vegan LGBT police groups distracting officers fighting crime Priti Patel