‘Insanity mixed with cowardice’: UK police memo advises officers to KNEEL to avoid unwanted ‘attention’ from protesters


UK police officers have been instructed about the “engaging effect” of taking a knee before protesters, and alerted about the drawbacks if they refuse to do so, triggering shocked and confused reaction from the British public.

The advice on kneeling was part of a recent operational briefing the officers received in the Hertfordshire Constabulary in southern England. The memo, cited by the Mail on Sunday, noted that although the gesture is “optional,” those who refuse to bend the knee “may become the focus of the protesters attention.” At the same time, kneeling “has a very positive and engaging effect,” and draws “a positive reaction on the protest groups.”


Officers choosing to take a knee are advised to “be cognizant of the operational circumstances and to their own, colleagues and public safety,” the document said.

The controversial memo unsurprisingly received some backlash from officers. A senior detective quoted by the paper called the advice “absurd” and wondered whether police are now expected to “make similarly appeasing gestures at political events – far-right protests, for instance?”

That Hertfordshire police want their officers to take the knee before protestors is a total surrender to anarchy, Marxism and an organisation that wants them abolished. Insanity mixed with cowardice.

— Nigel Farage (@Nigel_Farage) June 14, 2020

Commenters online were equally baffled. Brexit Party chief Nigel Farage wrote on Twitter that the constabulary wants its officers to “surrender to anarchy,” which is “insanity mixed with cowardice.”

Others labeled the idea of on-duty police officers kneeling in front of the protesters disgraceful. “That’s not equality, it’s pandering and not a way to command respect. It’s also demeaning to the officers concerned,” one person wrote.

Are those in charge over at Hertfordshire Constabulary losing their minds?Police are warned refusing to take a knee could START trouble

— Flo (@FloristMiss) June 14, 2020

Another commenter quipped that the next internal memo will advise that “arresting people for committing a crime might lead to angry reactions so maybe think twice before enforcing the law.”

And in Hertfordshire Constabulary’s next internal memo they will advise that arresting people for committing a crime might lead to angry reactions so maybe think twice before enforcing the law.

— William Orange (@maillotorange) June 14, 2020

Some argued that while on duty, police officers must not participate in any political gestures whatsoever, regardless of their message, saying there’s “no room inside a police uniform for religion or politics.”

There’s no room inside a police uniform for religion or politics. Officers threatened with reprisals if they don’t ignore this and “take the knee” run the risk of being mistaken for provocatively practicing for their next arrest….

— Caxtonizer (@Caxtonizer) June 14, 2020

Ever since the death of George Floyd at the hands of police triggered a global wave of anti-brutality protests, activists have been encouraging officers to take a knee with them in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.

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