Fair Cop asks why the police appear to favour LGBT above other marginalised groups.
The Police have been vocal and visible in their support of the LGBT community. But same-sex attraction and ‘transgender’ are only two of the monitored hate crime strands. People can also be victims of a hate crime based on their race, religion and disability.
Hate crime is a serious issue, but why do police forces spend so much of their overstretched resources supporting and promoting LGBT+ organisations — including trans lobby groups — while paying scant attention to other protected groups?
In Fair Cop’s latest letter to chief constables Sarah Phillimore, who is herself disabled, asks why police forces treat some ‘strands’ as more equal than others; and she officially enquires how much time and money they devote to each protected group.
We are members of Fair Cop, a group of gender-critical lawyers, former and serving police officers, writers and professionals dedicated to upholding Articles 8–11 ECHR. Our Chief Executive Harry Miller was recently successful in his judicial review of the decision of Humberside Police to record his social media posts relating to transgender issues as a ‘hate incident non crime’. Miller v The College of Policing  EWHC 225 (Admin)
Knowles J was clear that Mr Miller’s speech in this regard was protected pursuant to Article 10 of the ECHR as it was ‘political’ and took place in the context of the Government’s 2018 consultation on reforms to the Gender Recognition Act 2004 (Reform of the Gender Recognition Act – Government Consultation, July 2018)
We therefore assert that it is uncontroversial to state that opinion on the matter of transgender ideology is not fixed and may lawfully be discussed.
We write to express our concern about what appears to be political activity on behalf of various police forces to declare public allegiance to and support of a particular view regarding transgender people i.e. that whatever identity is asserted by any individual is their true identity, any challenge to this is likely to be seen as ‘hate’ or ‘transphobia’.
Political activity by the police is, of course, prohibited by Schedule 1 to the Police Regulations 2003.
Para 1 states: a member of a police force shall at all times abstain from any activity which is likely to interfere with the impartial discharge of his duties or which is likely to give rise to the impression amongst members of the public that it may so interfere; and in particular a member of a police force shall not take any active part in politics.
We are concerned that a very clear impression is being given via social media that police forces are promoting the rights of transgender people above and beyond the rights of any other protected characteristic in the Equality Act 2010 or above any other ‘protected strand’ relating to hate crimes. We also note that ‘gender identity’ is not in fact a protected characteristic in any event. The relevant protected characteristic relating to transgenderism is ‘gender reassignment’.
We note that there are approximately 13.9 million disabled people in the UK (800,000 who use a wheelchair) and best estimates of the number of transgender people are between 200-500,000 (depending on the definition of ‘trans’). We would therefore expect, if the role of the police is indeed to foster good community relations by showing public support to those vulnerable communities who share protected characteristics, to see individual police forces demonstrating considerably more time and money to supporting and celebrating disabled people than to members of the ‘transgender community’.
One of our members is physically disabled and has expressed her distress at the apparent lack of active support from the police for members of her ‘community’
Of course, we accept that the police may well be publicly active on behalf of other minority groups and any impression otherwise may be due to amplification via social media that does not reflect actual work on the ground. We do not have detailed information about the time and money spent by each force in promoting and expressing allegiance to trans rights as opposed to ‘disabled’ rights.
However, we assume that such information must be recorded to ensure that any individual police force is not in breach of either its public sector equality duty pursuant to the Equality Act, nor the police regulations as set above.
We would therefore be grateful if you would let us know, with regard to each protected characteristic under the Equality Act, how much money is spent by each force on activities of uniformed officers in publicly supporting each protected characteristic.
For example, but not limited to: public display of flags or other insignia, alteration to uniform or other police equipment, social media posting, visits to schools, visible presence at marches or other public events, etc.
If you are not able to provide this information because no records are kept then we would be grateful for an explanation as to why a decision has been made not to record this information and an explanation as to why, absent this information, we can be reassured that the police are not engaged in either political activities or breach of their public sector equality duty.
We look forward to your response.
Image credit: Adrian Snood / CC BY (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)
What are you doing engaging in the oppression Olympics folks? Huge mistake in my view
Dear Jed. We are engaging because we have no choice. Because the police are apparently co-opted as the private militia for one particular group. I agree with you that arguing for slices of the pie based on how oppressed one feels is not a helpful way to spend one’s days. But what alternative challenge do you suggest? We just let the police crack on with this? I think there is a real risk they are in breach of their public sector equality duty. But we can’t make that challenge without some actual knowledge. Lets see what they are willing to admit/share about how they ‘celebrate’ and ‘promote’ EVERY protected characteristic.
Of course you have a choice Sarah, you could simply insist that the police treat everyone exactly the same, no fear or favour as the saying goes. Instead you’re using an argument where one particular protected characteristic needs to trump another one to prove your point and in doing so you embed the grievance hierarchy many of us want to see the end off.
You’re of course perfectly entitled to conduct your campaign however you see fit. I cannot support it if these are the tactics you are going to employ, so I’ll wish you well with your high court appeal if that’s the way you go and be on my way.
Sorry you don’t feel you can support what Fair Cop are doing here. I want to see the police enforce the law, catch criminals and protect the public. I think what they are being rail roaded into doing by Stonewall et al is wrong. I am sure most police officers on the front line are as fed up as we all are. What I hope we will achieve is to show the sheer hypocrisy and unworkability of the current mess. I may be wrong. Only time will tell. But I can’t sit by and do nothing. This is the something I think is right.
I think Jed made a valid point about “oppression Olympics”, but withdrawing his support from FairCop on that basis is somewhat throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Democracy has been in retreat from political correctness for 50 years now, since before that term was coined in the late 80s to describe the Marxist mind war against democracy. The Knowles judgement was an earthquake. It could be our El Alemain. I don’t think I’m going to use what I think is a tactical misstep to desert from Harry ‘Monty’ Miller’s desert rats.
If you get a response from the NPCC, I imagine it will be to point out that ‘hate crime’ incidents against disabled people are extremely low, whereas they are far higher against transgender people. The issue is surely that protecting trans people as a vulnerable minority is one thing, acting as the enforcement arm of ‘Big Trans’ to stamp out democratic debate is another. That leads to High Court Judgements rightly likening such conduct to the “Stasi”.
In my personal opinion men who think they’re women (and vice versa) and mutilate themselves is a disability. It’s the mental illness of dysphoria.
Far from the police seeking to become an ‘LGBT Ally’, they should be looking at how the LGBT agenda in schools parallels that of PIE in the 80s and be opening files accordingly.
‘Child’ is the one ‘protected characteristic’ that should trump all others.
Fair enough Sarah, I just think a playing them at their own game approach is misjudged. It can and maybe will be interpreted by the police that you’re campaigning for them to enforce the current ridiculous hate speech laws rather than to get rid of them altogether. They’re not the sharpest knives in the drawer after all.
I want a free for all back, totally unfettered free speech, get rid of all this hate speech and protected characteristic nonsense and let better speech deal with bad speech. My rights trump your rights feels like you’re accepting the status quo to me.
Greame, you’re right I probably have thrown the baby out with the bathwater here. But I’m not sure “ensuring they recognise citizens’ freedom of expression while continuing to provide robust protection against real crimes that are truly motivated by hatred” is enough for me that’s all. Especially if “real crimes” includes what is now legally defined as hate speech, I want rid of those too.
I have mild Austism and that comes under “disability” as a protected characteristic. When I worked in an office, the managers use to favour a black person over me. Meaning she could get away with stuff that I couldn’t. The funny ironic thing is, they use to say I had special treatment! These protected characteristics, 5 strands of hate crime, don’t all match with each other in harmony. I don’t care about black people’s issues because I’m not black and she didn’t care about my Austism because she wasn’t Autistic. You tend to care more about something when you can relate to it. So my point is out of the 9 protected characteristics each group is different, meaning they don’t all like each other! Lol
I am relieved to see from a recently published FOI request by Fair Cop, that many police forces have indeed been able to supply the figures of how much public money they are spending on membership of political campaigning organisation and “training” from them and rainbow lanyards and paraphernalia. The figures confirm my disappointment, as a black person, that all protected characteristics are equal but some more equal than others…
Here’s an example local to where I live: through a FOI request by Fair Cop recently, the Metropolitan Police revealed that for ‘Pride 2020’, 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. This is public money going to waste on frivolous, nay, politically divisive expenditure.
Where is the “show racism the red card” paraphernalia? After all like me, 35%of Londoners are from black, Asian and minority ethnic(BAME)groups. Where is the evidence of proportionate efforts to sensitise Met officers to the needs and sensitivities of BAME Londoners? Where is the evidence of significant and high profile reaching out to recruit and train high-calibre BAME officers for the Met?
Despite the police Code of Conduct, Stownwall have suceeded in capturing police forces up and down the country. And so they should- they are a campaigning organisation loudly and effectively championing the feelings and views of the 2-3% LGBTQ people nationally. It is up to MPs and Police Commissioners to regulate police activities in keeping with their noble mandate to serve and protect all citizens without fear or favour.
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