An English police force has apologised for telling people not to make “hateful comments” about a transgender sex offender’s gender identity after the home secretary told them to “focus on catching criminals not policing pronouns.”
Male-born Dixon, who identifies as a woman, was recently jailed for 20 years for sexually abusing seven children aged between 6 and 15. At the time of the offences, Dixon was called John Stephen Dixon.
Writing about the seriousness of his crimes, Detective Constable Amy Pooley of the Sussex Police Complex Abuse Unit said, “Dixon came to know these vulnerable young children successively through family connections, and used that trusted access to systematically abuse each of them for sexual gratification, in some cases for several months at a time.”
But several members of the public on Twitter criticised the force’s use of the word “woman” in the headline.
“If you have gender critical views you wish to express this can be done on other platforms or your own page, not targeted at an individual,” police wrote.
“@sussex_police have done well to put a dangerous criminal behind bars. But they’ve got it wrong by playing identity politics and denying biology. Focus on catching criminals not policing pronouns,” she wrote.
“An early reply to a comment on Twitter was inconsistent with our usual style of engagement; we apologise for this and have removed the comment. We recognize the rights of the public to express themselves freely within the boundaries of the law,” they wrote.