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Home Secretary slams police’s ‘politically correct’ anti-hate crime campaign

"The police need to enforce actual laws [and] fight actual crimes," Suella Braverman tweeted.

By Emily Maskell

Suella Braverman
Suella Braverman (Photo: Wiki Commons)

Home Secretary Suella Braverman has condemned a police force’s “politically correct” anti-hate crime campaign that suggested dead naming a trans person could be a hate crime.

Braverman has criticised the Leicestershire constabulary’s “politically correct campaigns” on Twitter with the accusation that this work “undermines” public confidence in police forces.

In a now-deleted tweet about their ‘Stamp It Out’ awareness campaign Leicestershire Police shared information about reporting a hate crime alongside testimony from a transgender woman. 

The quote from a trans woman identified as Jane in the tweet read: “I get called by my previous male name on purpose but that’s not who I am. It can be really hurtful, especially when it’s just seen as a joke.”

Braverman criticised the advice on Sunday (16 October): “This week I have seen confusion amongst police forces about what constitutes a ‘hate crime’.”

Additionally, Braverman stated that “the police need to enforce actual laws [and] fight actual crimes” alongside the recommendation a “proportionate approach must be taken.”

“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,” Braverman added. 

Since Sunday, Braverman has doubled down on her message with another Twitter thread that points figures at the force’s handling and demands a return to “common sense policing”.

Braverman’s response to Leicestershire police has drawn criticism from many within the community.

One person wrote on Twitter: “Suella Braverman attacking the police for going after anti-LGBTQA+ hate crime. LGBTQA+ rights are not the only thing that matter in a democracy, but they’re a damn good indicator of the moral compass of a government. This lot are cruel and ignorant.”

Someone else said Braverman “should be ashamed of herself” for taking issue with a force trying to uphold the law, emphasising that: “Being LGBT+ is a protected characteristic in UK law and this sort of bating and transphobia will only increase hate crime.”

This is the second time that Braverman has condemned a police force’s handling of trans hate crimes.

She previously accused Sussex Police of “playing identity politics and denying biology” after its reporting on sexual offences committed by a transgender woman prior to her transition.

Tweeting at the force in September, she said they should “focus on catching criminals not policing pronouns”.

Sussex Police then removed its tweets and released a statement reading: “An earlier reply to a comment on Twitter was inconsistent with our usual style of engagement; we apologise for this and have removed the comment.”

“We recognise the rights of the public to express themselves freely within the boundaries of the law,” the statement continued.

Prior to being made Home Secretary in early September, Braverman had been under fire for a worrying speech at the Policy Exchange think tank in August where she claimed schools and teachers are “socially transitioning” children and LGBTQ+ education was not “age-appropriate” for children.