As a police officer I was taught to be impartial but PSNI role in Pride breaches that duty

The Belfast Pride Festival 2016

, the annual event in Belfast city centre celebrating Northern Ireland's LGBT community.

Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
The Belfast Pride Festival 2016 , the annual event in Belfast city centre celebrating Northern Ireland's LGBT community. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

As someone who served in both the RUC and the PSNI for over thirty years it was with dismay that I read of uniformed police officers taking part in the Pride parade in Belfast and in seeing police vehicles bedecked in the Pride colours.

Pride is a powerful pressure group which among other things engages in political lobbying to change the law to permit those of the same gender to marry each other.

As a trainee officer I was taught that I must never reveal my political views in my interactions with the public and that at elections, employment disputes and in the policing of parades I must act with complete impartiality.

It is right that police seek to prevent and detect crime with a homophobic motivation but there are many ways of doing that without flying the Pride colours and parading with them.

The Chief Constable should be well aware that very many people in Northern Ireland from right across the community are opposed to changing the law to facilitate same- sex marriage and they are appalled to see the PSNI apparently supporting this political lobbying.

The Code of Ethics of the PSNI can be viewed online and at Article 1.6 it states that ‘police officers shall not take an active part in politics’.

Again at Article 6.1 it states that ‘police shall act with impartiality when carrying out their duties’. It seems to me that uniformed police officers who take part in a Pride parade are in breach of these two articles.

Finally I would call on the members of the Policing Board who were appointed to hold the PSNI, through the Chief Constable to account to do just that and challenge this political policing!

William, Ballymena (Full name and address supplied)

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