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WMP Fed Chair claims there is a 'woke mindset at the top'

Rich Cooke has agreed with comments made this week by Home Secretary Suella Braverman about a return to common sense policing.

The Chair of the West Midlands Police Federation (WM Fed) wants a renewed focus on "common sense policing", claiming this is a sentiment felt across much of the Federation.

Rich Cooke was addressing comments made at this week's APCC and NPCC Partnership Summit by Home Secretary Suella Braverman, where she spoke positively about a type of policing she believes is defined by "getting the basics right".

She said: "No politically correct distractions, just good old-fashioned policing – with a relentless focus on making our streets, homes, and transport networks safer."

The Home Secretary has previously advocated for this approach by making clear her dislike of so-called 'woke' policing in a letter written to chief constables.

Arguing that police forces spend “too much time on symbolic gestures”, Ms Braverman said common sense policing should take precedence over issues such as diversity and inclusion.

The position outlined in that letter was rejected at this week's conference by the Chairs of both the NPCC and APCC, Martin Hewitt and Marc Jones. 

However, the Chair of the WM Fed agrees with the Home Secretary.

Responding to her conference speech, Mr Cooke said: "There is a ‘woke’ mindset at the top that leads to much time wasted discussing, for example, ‘critical race theory’ or ‘white privilege’ or whether there should be extra categories of hate crimes.

“I say leave all that to the academics and politicians."

The Chair argued that while there aren't many Federation members who would resist a return to common sense policing, it isn't that simple.

He said: “We would love nothing more than a return to common sense policing but to do that we will need more officers who are trained properly in practical street craft, locally based and better resourced with important equipment like Taser."

Mr Cooke is not the only regional Federation Chair to feel this way. His counterpart in Derbyshire, Tony Wetton, wants the same renewed focus but anticipates similar barriers.

Describing himself as "all for common sense policing", the Derbyshire Chair spoke frankly about the issues requiring redress.

"We need more officers, better resourcing and a well-paid, fully-motivated workforce if we want to deliver the kind of service the people of Derbyshire expect and deserve," he said.

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