The Christian Police Association is among around 200 networks under scrutiny by the former Home Secretary Priti Patel in a report looking at whether there is a risk of 'straying well beyond the boundaries requiring police officers to be politically impartial”.
She was writing in a foreword to a report by the think tank Policy Exchange. It said the CPA was one of many police staff associations whose core mission is at risk of being distracted by an embrace of political, religious and sexual ideologies.
Ms Patel wrote: “That many of these groups are engaging in what has become an unhealthy internal competition for attention and resources rather than pursuing a relentless focus on serving the public is deeply concerning.”
Among some of the other networks named in the report are the National Association of Muslim Police, the Jewish Police Association, the National Black Police Association and the National Police Pagan Association.
The report highlighted that Cleveland police had a vegan network as part of its equality, diversity and inclusion strategy. West Yorkshire police had a Green Police Network to provide support and advice in relation to “green/ethical and dietary matters”.
The report says that since 2010 the number of national Staff Networks has grown by over 83%. The first network was the Christian Police Association which was founded in 1883.
The report says :"The crisis in British policing continues. One of the central critiques of modern policing is that to many people it appears that robbers, drug dealers and fraudsters operate unfettered by the forces of law and order while police officers indulge in activities which too often fail to contribute to effective policing. This paper considers the role of the over 200 ‘Staff Networks’ operating within policing and, while recognising they may have a positive contribution to make, they risk being a significant distraction from policing’s core mission."