The police should go back to "commonsense policing" instead of policing pronouns on Twitter or non-crime hate incidents, Home Secretary Suella Braverman said on Tuesday.
In her first major speech as home secretary, Braverman told the Conservative Party conference in Birmingham that public servants are distracted from "doing their real job" when the "poison [of identity politics] seeps into the public sphere."
She rejected demands from "many on the left" to defund the police, saying she would always back police men and women. But she also said some officers had "fallen devastatingly short of the standards expected."
"It's not just that pandering to identity politics is a huge waste of time. They need to stick to catching the bad guys," Braverman said.
"We need to get back to commonsense policing, empowering the police to tackle the issues facing the public, not policing pronouns on Twitter, or ... policing non-crime hate incidents," Braverman said, adding that she was "very pleased" to see a number of forces promising to attend the scene of every burglary.
She said police can't ignore neighbourhood crimes such as "drugs, car theft, vandalism, and anti-social behaviour," and "the system needs to do better" to tackle rape.
The prime minister and Braverman want to “see homicide, serious violence, and neighborhood crime fall by 20 percent," she said.
"So whether you're Just Stop Oil or Insulate Britain, or Extinction Rebellion, you cross the line when you break the law and that's why we'll keep putting you behind bars," she said.
Braverman also said the government's National Security Bill will give law enforcement and intelligence agencies the necessary tools to counter the UK's "ever more sophisticated adversaries."
Former Prime Minister Theresa May abolished police performance targets in 2010 when she was the home secretary, saying, “targets don’t fight crime; targets hinder the fight against crime.”