A top police officer has been criticised for posting a ‘ridiculous’ video on Twitter highlighting ‘International Pronouns Day’.
Julie Cooke, the deputy chief constable of Cheshire police, told her 2,231 followers that the day was important to anyone who identifies as transgender or ‘gender non-conforming’ because ‘being mis-gendered can have a huge impact on somebody and their personal wellbeing’.
She added: ‘It also can be used as a form of abuse and that just isn’t right. Today is about raising awareness getting people to have conversations and understanding why it’s so important to understand the pronouns that somebody wishes to be used for them.’
But the video, which last night had been viewed almost one million times, attracted a strong reaction online, with more than 6,000 people commenting and mostly criticising the senior officer.
Critics branded the message, posted on Wednesday, ‘bonkers, ridiculous and a joke’.
They questioned why police were ‘wasting time’ over such ‘nonsense’ and suggested they should instead be out pursuing criminals.
Feminist and author Julie Bindel asked: ‘Why are you wasting time on this? Shouldn’t you be detecting crime and catching criminals?’
Meanwhile Norman Brennan, a retired police officer and justice campaigner, told the deputy chief constable: ‘Julie, listening to you it’s clear the lunatics have taken over the asylum…
‘What the b***** hell are you talking about? With people like you at the top I truly despair of the future of policing.’
While businessman Nick Mitchell said: ‘Part of my business taxes pay for Cheshire Police. I support your difficult job – this is beyond embarrassing.
‘How can you not see you are losing the general public with this ridiculous virtue signalling nonsense? Catch criminals, hurty words are for children and their teachers!’
Trans woman Kristina Harrison tweeted: ‘I’m trans, why are policing wasting resources and interfering in a political/social matter?’
Two years ago Cheshire Police saw a 36 per cent rise in crime – the third highest in the country. Violent crime rose by 43 per cent, public order offences went up by 124 per cent, sexual offences rose 34 per cent, robbery jumped by 33 per cent and burglary went up by 6 per cent in the 12 months to December 2017.
Police chiefs said the rise was in line with national figures and blamed increased reporting of incidents for the upsurge.
In April it emerged that secondary schools in Brighton were giving pupils badges to say which pronoun they preferred to be called in a bid to promote trans inclusion and prevent ‘misgendering’ of children.
The badges said ‘My pronouns are…’ followed by either ‘she, her, hers’, ‘he him, his’ or ‘they, them, theirs’.
Last month pop star Sam Smith asked to be described using the pronouns ‘they’ and ‘them’ after struggling with gender issues for years.
The musician, 27, who identifies as non-binary, said: ‘I’ve decided I am changing my pronouns to THEY/THEM. After a lifetime of being at war with my gender I’ve decided to embrace myself for who I am, inside and out.’
Former UKIP MEP and political commentator Patrick O’Flynn said: ‘I’m hearing that Cheshire Constabulary no longer identifies as a proper police force.’
International Pronouns Day is a global event which aims to raise awareness and encourage respect for the third person pronouns, such as he, she or they, that people use for themselves.
It is particularly significant for those who are transgender or gender nonconforming because using the incorrect pronoun can be deemed upsetting, offensive or even abusive.
Transgender groups believe using the correct pronouns is a critical step in acknowledging the humanity of trans and gender non-conforming people.
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