Police cannot pick and choose between crimes: Diane Abbott


LONDON: Misogyny allegations should be recorded by police, Diane Abbott has said, a day after one of the country’s most senior officers argued that forces are too stretched to take on all “desirable and deserving” issues.

The shadow home secretary said “hate-filled” letters, including rape threats, are received daily at her office, and police had visited her this week to collect some of the latest. But Ms Abbott said forces should not be expected to “pick and choose” between crimes, and called on the Government to provide proper resources to officers.

Speaking at the National Police Chiefs’ Council and the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners summit on Thursday, the Labour MP referenced remarks made by NPCC chairwoman Sara Thornton on Wednesday.

Ms Thornton, former chief constable of Thames Valley Police, said forces must focus on catching burglars and violent offenders rather than recording incidents that are not crimes.

Asked, during a question-and-answer session, if she thought allegations of misogyny should be recorded by police, she said: “Just yesterday the police came to my office to collect some of the letters that we receive on a daily basis, threatening rape, threatening violence, hate-filled letters.

“I am in favour, because it is the right thing to do, to take the most serious action against hate crime. But we cannot give the police more responsibilities without providing the resources.” In July, chief constables debated whether allegations such as misogyny should be logged even when no crime is committed.