Saturday 26th November 2022,
North Yorks Enquirer

Home Secretary backs NYE

Home Secretary backs NYE

by TIM HICKS

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Introduction

Regular readers will remember that during the height of the Coronavirus pandemic, the NYE tried to support the efforts of the NHS and North Yorkshire Police (NYP) to ensure public safety. It ran an articles disseminating advice from NYP on crime prevention during the pandemic and published police notices on the new coronavirus lockdown rules.

It also ran a series of articles on breaches of the coronavirus lockdown rules by the Chief Constable of North Yorkshire Police Lisa Winward, the then Deputy Chief Constable, the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police and individual officers of North Yorkshire and Cleveland Police.

The best of these was the visit to Scarborough Police Station by Deputy Chief Constable Phil Cain, exposed by Tim Thorne, which went national in Private Eye:

These articles were intended to save lives by placing the Police under public scrutiny and deterring Police Officers from abusing their positions by breaching of the regulations. Every member of the NYE editorial and reporting team was involved in this effort. They were supported by numerous members of the public that sent in photographs of Police Officers allegedly breaching the regulations. My favourite is this one, showing two Police Officers fast asleep in a lay bye unmasked:

This campaign was partially successful in that no Police or Fire Officer in North Yorkshire died.

However, typically, Chief Constable Winward refused to take any disciplinary action against any Officer that was alleged to have breached the Coronavirus regulations. Including the two clowns shown in the above photograph. Story here.

NYP participation in ridiculous symbolic public gestures

Some of these breaches related to the ridiculous sight of large groups of Police Officers gathering on duty to clap the NHS. This achieved nothing other than to put lives at risk and give the Police a photo opportunity participating in a ridiculous symbolic gesture, when they should have been policing.

The worst single example was when Commissioner Cressida Dick – the most senior Police Officer in the country – was been savaged in the press for attending a clapping ceremony on Westminster Bridge, where the Police did not keep the correct distance between themselves and other people.

In a similar piece of stupidity in North Yorkshire, Police Officers were photographed at Fire Stations clapping the NHS.

In an article on this, in April 2020, I commented:

“Whilst it is commendable that people want to show their appreciation of the health workers and police that are working to save lives from the coronavirus pandemic. These gatherings for the purpose of clapping serve no useful purpose and in some cases endanger life. They are simply PR photo opportunities for politically correct Chief Police Officers. To quote one nurse who witnessed this disgusting scene on Westminster Bridge and sums up the reality of it perfectly:”

“This is really infuriating!!!! I’m a nurse & this scene made me sick!!! It’s more appropriate if social distancing was practised here than the clapping itself. Do we CARE??? Expect more weeks of torture, more casualties as a result of this!!!”

“Every person taking part in these public gatherings including firemen, firewomen, and most particularly the police officers is committing a criminal offence. 

At a time of national emergency where life is being lost, when we are told that the police are stretched to the limit. Hundreds of police man hours and vehicles are being wasted on attending self-serving PR photo opportunities for Chief Police Officers.”

Home Secretary Suella Braverman supports the NYE position

Now, Home Secretary Suella Braverman has written to every Chief Constable prohibiting these symbolic gesture events.

Quoted in this BBC article, Mrs Braverman has raised concerns that public trust in the Police had been shattered and that part of this is a public belief that police “have had to spend too much time on symbolic gestures, rather than actually fighting crime“. This perfectly reflects my own opinion and would appear to me to be an inevitable consequence of the woke, self-serving, politically correct, career minded officer that gets to the top in the Police Service of today.

The Home Secretary’s letter has effectively prohibited the Chief Constable from wasting Police time and resources on “self-serving PR photo opportunities for Chief Police Officers.”

Once again, the line taken above by the NYE over misuse of Police funds has been vindicated, on this occasion by no less a person than the Home Secretary. It is a victory for common sense, public safety and the North Yorkshire taxpayer.

This shows the importance of having independent journalists that will hold public bodies including the police to account.


Right of Reply

Chief Constable Winward was provided with a draft of this article and invited to comment, but did not do so, in accordance with her policy of proscribing the NYE.

If you are mentioned in this article and do not agree with the views expressed in it, or if you wish to correct any factual inaccuracy, please let me know using the letters@nyenquirer.uk email address and your views and a correction will be published if appropriate.

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