• Sir Mark Rowley stops officers associating with political causes.
• No taking of the knee, flying rainbow flags or adorning uniforms with badges.
• No tolerance for officers getting drawn into political causes.
Sir Mark Rowley, the new Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, has instructed his officers to refrain from expressing support for certain “woke” causes while on duty, such as Black Lives Matter, Extinction Rebellion, and Pride. He believes that it is essential for officers to remain impartial, and that the only acceptable additions to uniforms are remembrance poppies, Help for Heroes wristbands, and the police memorial badge.
Rowley’s stance is much stricter than that of his predecessor, Dame Cressida Dick, who had initially allowed officers to take the knee in support of Black Lives Matter protests. Furthermore, under her watch, a police vehicle was given a Pride rainbow colour scheme and there was public outrage after officers were seen dancing and skateboarding with Extinction Rebellion eco-warriors.
Sir Mark’s comments indicate that he will be less tolerant of such activities and that he believes the police should not be explicitly associated with any political causes. He believes that doing so could be “fatal” for policing, as it could lead members of the public to feel excluded or unheard.
Overall, it is clear that Sir Mark is taking a much harder line on this issue and that he is not willing to let his officers participate in any activities which could be seen to be political, even if those activities are generally popular.
Sir Mark Rowley, the new Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, has told his officers to stop associating themselves with political causes, such as Black Lives Matter, Extinction Rebellion and Pride. The Telegraph has more.
Britain’s most senior policeman has said his officers will not be allowed to express support for “woke” causes while on duty because it is essential that they are impartial.
Sir Mark Rowley, the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, made it clear that he will not tolerate officers taking the knee, flying rainbow flags or adorning their uniforms with badges that support environmental causes.
He described himself as “fairly narrow-minded” on the issue and said the only acceptable additions to uniforms were remembrance poppies, Help for Heroes wristbands and the police memorial badge.
His comments signal that he will take a much harder line than his predecessor, Dame Cressida Dick, who was criticised for allowing officers to take the knee while policing Black Lives Matter protests and under whose watch officers danced and skateboarded with Extinction Rebellion activists.
Sir Mark said getting drawn into political causes – even popular ones – could be “fatal” for policing, telling the Telegraph: “Wearing a poppy in the autumn is perfectly proper, but there is not a lot that we should align to because the danger is that once you say, ‘we are going to align ourselves to a cause because 90 per cent of the population support it’, what about the 10 per cent?
“Once you start having environmental and other subjects there are lots of people in the organisation who will personally support those causes and that is OK, but the Metropolitan Police explicitly supporting them is quite tricky. I’m fairly narrow-minded on this. There are very few causes policing should be attached to.”
Sir Mark’s comments signal that he will be less tolerant than Dame Cressida, under whom Scotland Yard initially said it was at individual officers’ discretion if they wanted to take the knee to support Black Lives Matter, even while they were policing protests. Dame Cressida later said she would not take the knee and that she had ordered her officers not to do so.
Under her watch, a police vehicle was given a Pride rainbow colour scheme to show support for LGBTQ+ causes at taxpayers’ expense.
In 2019, there was public outrage after Met officers were seen dancing and skateboarding with Extinction Rebellion eco-warriors when they were meant to be policing an illegal protest. The officers’ commander later described the behaviour as “unacceptable”.
Worth reading in full.
Stop Press: In a leading article, the Telegraph says if the police want to restore public confidence they should stop investigating incidents the vast majority of the British public don’t believe should be criminal acts – and aren’t in fact criminal acts – such as ‘offensive’ tweets.