Police officers shouldn’t be judged by social media, says Patel

Police should not face a “social media trial,” the Home Secretary will say as she backs calls for more video footage of incidents carried on the body to be released.

In a speech on Wednesday at the Police Federation of England and Wales annual conference, Priti Patel is expected to say “transparency is vital” and support plans to try to counter “the highly selective video clips and deceivers uploaded to social networks “.

She is expected to tell the public, “I will not let the police be judged by social media.

“This is why I have supported the Federation’s call for the forces to share body worn video footage to counter the highly selective and misleading video clips uploaded to social media.

“I want the forces to be more proactive in sharing body worn video footage to highlight the good work of their officers, build public confidence and correct the damaging misinformation circulating online.”

“It is essential that we work as a system to ensure that we maintain public confidence in the police, which is vital for victim reporting, intelligence-led policing and to maintain our valuable model of consent policing. . “


She should congratulate the police on their work amid the coronavirus pandemic, telling them that they have not “flinched” in the face of the challenges “during one of the most difficult times in the history of our country”, but rather “reassured and saved lives”.

She will add: “We had to introduce new laws and restrictions that no one in this country has ever seen before. If they had been improperly applied, we could have seen panic, chaos and worse.

“Fortunately, this country has the best police force in the world.

“On behalf of the whole country, thank you for always being there for us during one of the most difficult times in our country’s history. You did it superbly well and with courage.

Ms Patel is also expected to condemn those who mistreat the police, saying: ‘It is a cruel irony that, while most crimes naturally fell during the lockdown, violence and abuse against police officers have increased.

“You’ve been spat out and coughed up by thugs pretending to have the virus.

“Some of you were seriously injured and your vans were set on fire during the vile events in Bristol earlier this year. Police were bloodied and bombarded with bottles in Hyde Park in April.

“This behavior is preposterous. And I will never accept that this is just part of the job. It is an attack on the fabric of our society. And every police uniform is worn by a human being who is entitled to dignity and respect. “

According to excerpts from the Home Office’s speech ahead of the event, Ms Patel is expected to confirm that a pilot knife crime prevention orders (KCPO) project will be carried out by the London Metropolitan Police in July.

The new civil court orders – which may prohibit those suspected from carrying knives on a regular basis in certain areas, impose curfews, limit who they meet and require them to attend classes and re-education – were initially to be tried in April of last year, but that was delayed amid the pandemic.

Met with Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick, Minister of Police Kit Malthouse, Chief Inspector of Police Sir Thomas Winsor, Chairman of the National Council of Chiefs of Police Martin Hewitt, Shadow Police Minister Sarah Jones and the Federation National President John Apter are among those also expected to speak at the two one-day virtual events.

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