WOKE cops must stay out of politics, fight real crime and look a lot smarter, the police watchdog has said.
It warned people’s trust in officers is “unacceptably low” and time is running out to repair the public’s confidence.
The police watchdog said woke cops must stay out of politics, fight real crime and look a lot smarter
Police watchdog’s five key points
In a report out today, HM Chief Inspector of Constabulary Andy Cooke said a series of scandals and cases of predatory police officers had left trust “hanging by a thread”.
He called on top brass to stop police meddling with political issues and “convince the public that they are focused on what matters to communities” by tackling crime.
In his first State of Policing annual report, Mr Cooke added: “The police must counter the perception of them being ineffective dealing with day-to-day criminality.
“The police must uphold the law as it is written. They aren’t there to champion social change or take sides.”
The veteran cop and ex-Merseyside chief welcomed government proposals to stop police investigating non-crime hate incidents, such as Twitter spats about transgender issues.
Mr Cooke told a press briefing: “This country has got a proud record of mainly keeping politics out of policing.
“That should not change and it is not for individual police chiefs to decide which causes they support or not.”
The watchdog took a swipe at scruffy cops, saying “discipline is a critical prerequisite for high standards”.
Mr Cooke went on: “In most forces, gone are the days of immaculately-polished boots, ties or cravats and helmets.
“But first impressions are important. If the police want to be seen as professional, they need to look it.”
He warned that too few criminals are being caught, noting charge rates dropped by two-thirds since 2014, and demanded better investigations and more bobbies on the beat.
He also defended stop and search as an “essential tool”, but said police must use it more “effectively and fairly” and called for more research into its impact as a deterrent.
Mr Cooke warned problems “won’t be fixed solely by issuing glossy strategies, mission statements, visions, concordats or the like. They will be fixed through action”.
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