CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

Which planet are the police and politicians on?

07 October, 2021

‘The statistics showing how police officers are routinely able to return to work after committing sexual offences are revealing’

WARRING Labour Party members would do well to spend a day at the Conservative Party conference.

Huddled together in the Manchester drizzle, the Starmerites and Corbynites might remember their common opposition.

Boris Johnson may have set a few political sketch writers’ pulses racing on Wednesday with his gag-laden speech.

Never mind all the obscure half truths; we have all become desensitised to them. Few will be laughing in the coming months as soaring energy bills, cuts to Universal Credit and the furlough scheme start to bite.

The braying triumphalism and rhetorical flourishes of the Prime Minister will be no comfort for low-income families making choices between food and heat this Christmas.

The annual winter NHS crisis will once again expose a decade of neglect. And there will be more cruel twists ahead, despite the faux-optimism about the future that is supposed to be generated by the “levelling up” slogan.

You don’t have to do much googling to find Mr Johnson’s cringeworthy columns and statements about women over many years in politics.

This week he reiterated misogyny should not be considered a hate crime. There is an obvious link between hostility to women and the abuse and harassment women experience day-to-day.

A long-running campaign has aimed to get police to record when a crime was motivated by hatred of someone’s sex or gender. Some police forces have independently introduced their own misogyny hate crime policy.

The independent Law Commission has recently advised Mr Johnson that misogyny should be treated in the same way as other discrimination when it is the motivation for a crime.

Of course, what use would any of this be if the police themselves are inherently misogynistic. Naturally, many of those who seek to exert power and control over others will be inexorably drawn towards a career with the Met.

The statistics showing how police officers are routinely able to return to work after committing sexual offences are revealing.

The Met’s publicity team, and Cressida Dick, have known the repulsive details of the Sarah Everard case for more than six months now.

You would think this would be more than enough time for an organisation of this size to come up with some coherent and reassuring advice for women. Instead, there has been victim-blaming, nonsense and confusion.

Keir Starmer’s plan is to put more police on the streets. What we need is police to properly investigate the crimes reported to them.

No wonder then it has felt this week like our police and our politicians are operating from a different planet.

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