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Society – Focus on actual crimes, says senior police officer

December 2018

Chief Constable Sara Thornton_Credit NPCC
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The police should focus on actual crimes like burglaries and robberies, and not waste time recording incidents which are not crimes, a senior officer has said.

National Police Chiefs’ Council chairwoman Sara Thornton warned forces are too stretched to take on issues such as logging ‘hate incidents’ where no crime has been committed, even though recording such matters may be ‘desirable    and deserving’.

Several police forces have used ‘hate incident’ policies to unjustly take action against numerous Christian evangelists who have been sharing their faith in public places.

In some extreme cases, the police have been successfully sued for the unlawful arrest or detention of Christian street preachers.

Although Ms Thornton made no mention of such incidents specifically, she said, ‘I want us to solve more burglaries and bear down on violence before we make more records of incidents that are not crimes’.

An editorial in The Independent welcomed Ms Thornton’s remarks, saying, ‘Politicians can be justly criticised for asking teachers or soldiers to do more and more with less resources, so too can they be reproved for asking the police to enforce ever more crimes’.

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