REUTERS/Peter Nicholls

In the ongoing discourse surrounding “woke” policing and the contentious use of language, Home Secretary James Cleverly has received a caution from Nick Glynn, the head of the police racism watchdog, Independent Scrutiny and Oversight Board (ISOB). Glynn, serving as the interim chair of ISOB, issued a warning to Cleverly, urging him to avoid echoing the same “tropes and terminology” that led to criticism of former Home Secretary Suella Braverman’s review into “woke” policing.

In an exclusive interview with the Mirror, Glynn underscored the substantial impact of Cleverly’s words and implored him to be cognizant of their potential repercussions on police officers. The caution arises from apprehensions that divisive language can wield undue influence on law enforcement, exemplified by Braverman’s use of terms like “invasion” about illegal migration and her characterization of pro-Palestine protests as “hate marches.”

Glynn emphasized the intricate challenge faced by police commanders in maintaining a delicate balance and stressed that the role of the Home Secretary should be one of support rather than contributing to increased difficulties in policing. He highlighted the notion that detrimental narratives from political figures could impede the police’s ability to navigate complex situations.

The caution from Glynn follows Braverman’s commissioned review into “woke” policing, which expressed concerns about law enforcement aligning with politically correct causes. However, the review backfired, as it critiqued politicians themselves for attempting to influence police operations. The official police inspectorate had previously warned about top politicians exerting pressure on senior officers to sway policing decisions.

Nick Glynn, in his capacity as the head of ISOB, is tasked with holding police forces accountable to the Police Race Action Plan, instituted in June 2020 following the murder of George Floyd in the US. Glynn expressed dissatisfaction with the progress made in the police’s use of power, including stop and search, strip searches, and the use of force.

He criticized the absence of direct funding from the Home Office for initiatives like the Police Race Action Plan, highlighting that such efforts predominantly rely on police budgets. Furthermore, Glynn pointed out the counterproductive nature of terms like “woke” used by the Home Office, asserting that they undermine endeavors aimed at enhancing policing.

Glynn advocated for the Home Office to allocate direct funding for initiatives addressing racial disparities in policing, asserting that it would contribute to consistent progress across the 44 different police forces. He underscored the varying levels of support for the plan across different police forces and contended that Home Office funding would reinforce the significance of this crucial work.

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