• Sunday, November 27, 2022

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Leicestershire Police apologise after Braverman slammed it for hate crime tweet

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 04: UK Home Secretary Suella Braverman addresses the Conservative Party Conference at the ICC on October 4, 2022 in Birmingham, England. This year the Conservative Party Conference will be looking at “Getting Britain Moving” with more jobs and higher salaries. However, delegates are arriving at the conference as the party lags 33 points behind Labour in the opinion polls. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)

By: Pramod Thomas

Leicestershire Police apologised for using a stock image and fictitious quote on a tweet in a campaign to encourage transgender people to report hate crime after home Secretary Suella Braverman criticised it, media reports said.

The force now deleted the tweet which was posted during the National Hate Crime Awareness Week (October 8- 15).

According to Braverman, such politically correct gestures and campaigns undermined public confidence in police and directed the force to focus on solving ‘actual crimes’.

‘You can report hate crime via Stamp it Out’, Leicestershire police tweeted above a picture of a transgender woman as part of the campaign.

The trans woman was quoted as saying: “I get called by my previous male name on purpose but that’s not how I am. It can be really hurtful especially when it’s just seen as a joke.”

While responding to the tweet, Braverman wrote on Twitter: “This week I have seen confusion amongst police forces about what constitutes a ‘hate crime’.

“The police need to enforce actual laws and fight actual crimes. Freedom of speech must be protected and a proportionate approach must be taken.

“The public need to have confidence in their police forces. This sort of thing undermines it. Senior police officers who allow this to happen can expect to have to explain to me why they’re spending vital resources on politically correct campaigns.”

She also publicly questioned whether that scenario actually constituted a crime under British law. The minister opined that freedom of speech ‘must be protected’.

A hate crime is an offence targeting a victim’s race, religion, sexual orientation, transgender dentity or disability according to its definition provided by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).

Leicestershire Police later clarified that its campaign-Stamp It Out, used stock photographs and fictitious names, along with first-person quotes written by an ‘experienced’ member of police staff based on previous cases.

“While we recognise that people have strong and often conflicting views regarding this issue, we should not forget the seriousness of hate crime and the devastating crimes that as a country we have seen in the past which have happened as a result of hate crime. As a force, like all other forces, our priority is to prevent and detect crime,” said Leicestershire’s Temporary Chief Constable Rob Nixon.

“I am sorry that our posts may have caused some upset. I know that was not the intention of our communications team who I know are committed to helping the force to prevent and detect crime and to raise awareness.”

Reports said that the home secretary also sent letters to the police chiefs in all 43 forces in England and Wales asking them to to stop wasting time on ‘symbolic gestures’ such as taking the knee and initiatives on diversity and inclusion. She demanded them to focus on ‘common sense policing’.

Recently, Braverman accused that Sussex police is playing identity politics when it said it would not tolerate hateful social media comments about a child abuser’s gender identity.

The minister said that she hoped them to catch criminals than creating ‘policing pronouns’.

It is reported that all forces in UK have pledged to send officers to every theft crime scene to restore public confidence.

Official data revealed that as many as 155,841 hate crimes were recorded in England and Wales in the year ending March 2022, an increase of 26 per cent from last year. There was a 56 per cent increase in the number of transgender identity hate crimes recorded.

In recent weeks, the home secretary also criticised police over their dealings with climate change and vegan activists.

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