OPINION

Police should uphold the law

Posted On 28 Sep 2022 at 12:01 am

Suella Braverman, the new Home Secretary, has told police chiefs to prioritise “common-sense policing” and stop focusing on “symbolic gestures”.

She said the public had “a right to expect that the police get the basics right” and urged forces to focus on combating crime rather than non-criminal diversity and inclusion issues.

Stephen Watson, Greater Manchester’s new chief constable, has told his officers to avoid “woke” policing and virtue signalling over concerns that making common cause with campaign groups can damage fairness and impartiality and make it impossible for police to do their jobs.

I agree with Braverman and Watson. It cuts no ice with me that police shimmy at pride marches, paint their cars in LGBTQ+ colours, take the knee with Black Lives Matter or dance with environmental activists.

Spacewords Brighton

This is window dressing, a fashionable fig leaf to mask the fact that policing has lost its way and has no real base in the communities it serves.

Furthermore, it cynically promotes a hierarchy of equalities in which some social groups have influence and receive support but others, principally women and children, do not.

Females are not protected by hate crime legislation, yet they are the only social group in the UK regularly subjected to targeted hate-based violence and homicide on the basis of “immutable physical characteristics”.

Despite increasing levels of sexual assault and domestic violence, the sexism which underpins it is largely ignored.

We know that police forces across the country, including our own, have a serious problem with sexism and misogyny but, despite this, women are still asked to accept, and even repeat, the easy lie that other groups, nowadays trans women, are subject to greater threat.

When I worked for a local domestic violence charity in the 1990s, we called it “what aboutery”. Every time we raised anything about sexual assault or violence against women, someone would say “but what about men”.

It was accepted that other community groups would concentrate on the needs of their own target group but this did not apply to us. We were silenced, even screamed at, when we asserted our claim to justice. It was a precursor of what was to come.

During the Conservative leadership campaign, Liz Truss threatened to stop funding police forces spending money on questionable training programmes. Many of these programmes have wilfully ignored the sex-based rights of women and girls, quietly excising all mention of sex as a protected characteristic under equalities law.

Such flawed training may be the reason that, in the past, local police have permitted (some feminists would say facilitated) extreme trans ideologues disrupting meetings of gender-critical women’s rights activists, most notably during past Labour Party conferences held in Brighton.

The police seem to have done better protecting gender-critical people attending the recent “Let Women Speak” meeting in Victoria Gardens, Brighton, though even then, when women’s rights activists had been threatened and their speeches disrupted by balaclava-clad trans activists, it was suggested the two sides had to be “kept apart”, implying violence on both sides.

In fact, many women’s rights supporters chose not to attend because of online threats and those who did remained peaceful.

There were several men in attendance, peacefully supporting the sex-based rights of women. Film later emerged of two women, one apparently employed in the office of local MP Lloyd Russell Moyle, hurling obscene abuse at one of them, a father holding a small baby.

No police response has been reported. But then, no police action was taken in 2017 when, not far way, a Labour MP stood on a stage in front of hundreds of people, including children, and instructed a young woman to get “on your knees bitch.” It was treated as a joke, not a hate incident.

Worryingly, Sussex Police have recently condemned a women’s rights activist for “misgendering” a convicted paedophile, Sally Anne Dixon (formerly John Stephen Dixon) implying the activist may be in breach of the law and referring her to online guidance on “hate crime”.

The activist had rightly objected to Sussex Police’s assertion that Dixon’s crimes were committed by a female perpetrator, pointing out that the 30 crimes against seven children (five girls and two boys) of which Dixon was convicted, were committed by John Dixon as a male. Dixon has no gender reassignment certificate.

Sally Anne Dixon formerly known as John Dixon

Sussex Police’s tweeted response states that they “do not tolerate any hateful comments towards their gender identity regardless of crimes committed” adding: “This is irrelevant to the crime that has been committed and investigated.”

A further tweet stated: “If you have gender-critical views you wish to express this can be done on other platforms or your own page, not targeted at an individual.”

 

These police responses have given rise to outrage, accusations of misogyny and demands that the Suella Braverman, the Home Secretary, and Katy Bourne, the police and crime commissioner, take action.

Others have suggested the police educate themselves on actual law, not “Stonewall lore”.

It seems clear that the days of “no debate” about trans issues are well and truly over. The police had better get used to it. And get a grip.

Jean Calder is a campaigner and journalist. For more of her work, click here.

  1. Rob P Reply

    Incredibly sad to see a campaigner from women’s rights get dragged into the sad ‘whataboutism’ that she claims to have been victim of in the past. Campaigning for acceptance of trans rights do not destroy women’s rights movement.
    This article just seems to be a collection of spuriously connected complaints with little basis. So the police should focus on just upholding the law and not diversity or inclusion? But there should also be MORE diversity and inclusion of women’s rights?
    Then some allegations that verbal abuse was thrown from protestors to counter-protestors, but there was nothing the other way? I don’t think anyone really believes this. This article of hurtful statements is proof enough.
    Then complaining that police supported the wishes of a trans person to be called by their chosen identity? They have done terrible things, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t deserve respect for their gender identity – we would think similarly about racist remarks towards criminals I hope.
    This whole article just reeks of hideousness.

    • Car Delenda Est Reply

      Titles article ‘police should uphold the law’ complains that police uphold the law protecting trans people.

  2. Gerry Reply

    Excellent article – I agree with every word of this. I live in Brighton and I am sick to death of Sussex Police, and other police forces, doing all this wretched virtue signalling instead of focussing all their energies on reducing actual crime and catching actual criminals, and when – after the harrowing testimonies from his victims – they do catch one man, John/Sally Ann Dixon, they have the gall to send out a statement saying “Woman convicted”! So insulting, so untruthful, so disrespectful to the children this vile man abused. And, Sussex Police, what does “living as a man” mean anyway? John Dixon was a man in 2004, and he’s still a man in 2022 even though he now calls himself Sally Ann. Just stop gaslighting us!

    • Jane L Reply

      Totally agree with the article. Sussex Police are a joke. You just need to walk through the town centre and see the groups of junkies begging and dealing unhindered to see this. The police have limited respect for normally functioning families and working people.

  3. Jason Reply

    Truth is a “hate crime” (thought crime) here in Airstrip One.

    Dare to utter a forbidden word and your feet won’t touch the ground. Commit an actual crime and PERHAPS you’ll get a slapped wrist if you’re unlucky.

    Just one example. The police continually tell us they’re “powerless” to do anything about the kids attacking shops in the Worthing area, but they never tell us WHY they claim they “can’t” do anything about these out-of-control CRIMINALS.

    Thank you (not really), Maggot Thatcher. May you burn in hell.

  4. Jon Reply

    I reckon trans people are the smallest of minorities but the Home Secretary and the author manage to blame them for the rise in crime and domestic violence .
    Usually immigrants and asylum seekers are blamed for most of this using the method where they search the news for a horrible crime committed by an asylum seeker then use it as proof.

  5. Anni.M Reply

    Thank You for this article Jean Calder. I agree with you.

  6. Billy Short Reply

    There IS dissatisfaction with our police but it’s all too easy, as here, to suggest the problem lies with wokism – or indeed with police budgets being partly spent on minority issues you don’t agree with.

    This is just a politically-motivated distraction from the true issue which is the underfunding of the police service and the resultant shortage of police officers.

    Police budgets were cut in the austerity years and the Boris Johnson promise that officer numbers would be restored has not happened. We are now told that, under Liz Truss, all departments are being forced to find cuts once more.

    But it seems unfair to criticise the Sussex police for the one thing they are mostly good at – and they are very good at community policing, be that of football matches, the annual Pride weekend, and of shouty political demonstrations.
    The police are also very good nowadays if you have to report a hate crime – and that benefits all sections of society.

    What the police are not so good at is catching and convicting criminals – and the obvious groups here in Brighton are drug dealers, graffiti taggers, and bike thieves.
    What’s needed is more officers and higher police visibility. We won’t solve crime by criticising the Police’s Twitter stream.

  7. Car Delenda Est Reply

    “Females are not protected by hate crime legislation, yet they are the only social group in the UK regularly subjected to targeted hate-based violence and homicide on the basis of “immutable physical characteristics”.”

    Good job pretending the disabled don’t exist.

    “the easy lie that other groups, nowadays trans women, are subject to greater threat”

    You realise it’s possible to fight sexism without being a transphobe about it right?

    “This is window dressing, a fashionable fig leaf to mask the fact that [I’m an alt-right wierdo]”

    • Car Delenda Est Reply

      Literally just devolves into a rant about how it’s unfair you don’t get to be transphobic towards criminals..

      Why is BHN circulating this stuff?

  8. Jason Reply

    All these different “isms” are just the latest fashion, many of which attempt to deny reality in one way or another, and should NOT concern the police unless an actual CRIME is committed.

    What really annoys me though are the army of (better not call them idiots) who PRETEND to “be offended” at the slightest excuse, usually on behalf of some group or other, when in most cases the group concerned isn’t bothered about whatever may or may not have been said.

    I travel regularly, and unless someone is behaving in an unacceptable way, I just see PEOPLE, as do most others. It’s just a pity a few abnormally vocal individuals can’t keep their mouths shut if nobody is doing anything wrong.

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