Suella Braverman orders review into 'political activism' in policing citing officers taking the knee

Home Secretary Suella Braverman has criticised police forces for
Home Secretary Suella Braverman has criticised police forces for "being involved in political matters", citing officers taking the knee or dancing with protesters at parades. (Credit: Getty Images)

Suella Braverman has launched a review into "political activism" in policing after she criticised officers for taking sides on controversial issues.

The Home Secretary has instructed His Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary to conduct review into impartiality in police as she spoke about what she describes as an "unacceptable rise" in police officers becoming involved in political matters. She cited officers taking the knee in support of the Black Lives Matter movement and dancing with protesters at rallies.

In the letter to His Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary, Braverman said that she believed such incidences were harming public confidence in police forces across the country.

Speaking to The Telegraph, she said: "The British people expect their police to focus on cutting crime and protecting communities - political activism does not keep people safe, solve crimes or support victims, but can damage public confidence.

"The review I've commissioned will explore whether the police getting involved in politically contentious matters is having a detrimental impact on policing. I will leave no stone unturned in ensuring policing acts for the benefit of the British public."

However, the review has been criticised by some with the Police Federation pointing towards the move as an instance of the government allowing policing to be "kicked around like a political football". The Police Federation's deputy chair Tiffany Lynch added: "Our members want to go out there and serve communities in the best way possible, but need help when the government constantly changes the goal posts.

"One minute they want police officers to be more involved, the next, they want them to act like robots."

Labour has also said that the Home Secretary is wasting valuable time on such investigations. A spokesperson for the party said: "Instead of setting out serious and practical policies to tackle Tory failures, all the home secretary is doing is commissioning reports into her own political obsessions - and while she's doing this, more criminals are being let off and more victims are being let down."

Braverman has in the past been noted to be a vocal figure on so-called "culture war" issues, having previously called out the "tofu-eating wokerati". The Home Secretary also reportedly personally intervened in a case where officers were sent to a pub in Essex to seize a collection of minstrel golliwog dolls, which are widely considered racist caricatures of black people.

Speaking to Sky News, a Home Office source at the time said: "The Home Secretary's views have now been made very plain to Essex Police so they're under no illusions. Police forces should not be getting involved in this kind of nonsense. It's about tackling anti-social behaviour, stopping violence against women and girls, attending burglaries and catching criminals - not seizing dolls."