Letter to the Yorkshire Post From Andrew Brons
22nd June 2017
A spokesman for the National Police Chiefs’ Council was quoted as saying (Yorkshire Post 22nd June):
“Tackling the threat from extreme right wing ideology has long been part of policing’s commitment to fighting extremism in all its forms”.
It is not currently the legal responsibility of the police to counter any ideology – right, left or centre. It is the function of the police to prevent criminal offences and to initiate the prosecution of those committing them. If the police have been countering ideologies that they do not favour, they have been exceeding their authority and misusing scarce public resources. That they have been doing this with the permission of the most senior police officers in the country, only makes the matter infinitely worse.
The word terrorism has a statutory legal definition and the police must combat terrorism from whichever part of the political spectrum it comes, without fear or favour.
The words extreme and extremism have no legal definition. Sometimes they are used to refer to violent political behaviour and its perpetrators. However, here it refers to ideologies rather than actions – ideologies that are disapproved of by the most senior police officers or by their political masters.
Police officers, individually and collectively, are prohibited from treating people unfairly on the basis of personal or collective prejudices. However, we now have a clear admission that that is exactly what our most senior police officers have been doing for years.
The words extreme rightwing are simply hate speech for British Nationalists.