Essex Police deny Suella Braverman reprimand

The force refuted the assertion that the home secretary advised them to concentrate on "capturing criminals" after items were taken from Grays' White Hart Hotel.

Essex police have denied being criticised by Suella Braverman for taking a display of golliwog toys from a pub.

As part of an investigation into an alleged hate crime filed in February, police officers this week removed three dolls from the White Hart Inn in Grays, Essex.

According to MailOnline, a source close to Braverman claimed the home secretary had made her displeasure “extremely obvious to Essex police so they are under no illusions.”

Police forces “should not be getting involved in this kind of nonsense,” the insider was quoted as saying, and should instead concentrate on “capturing criminals.”

The Guardian reported that according to insiders at the force, Braverman made no contact regarding the inquiry.

On Tuesday, a group of four officers and a trainee went to the pub in response to a complaint that the display of the racist caricature-based dolls had caused someone to be harassed, alarmed, or distressed. 

The force claimed that it was collaborating closely on the case with the Crown Prosecution Service.

Benice Ryley, the owner of the bar, claimed that she has been showcasing the assortment of roughly 30 dolls—donated by her late aunt and patrons—in the establishment for about ten years.

She told the PA Media: “They’re my childhood history, it’s a part of our inheritance. I can’t see any harm. I don’t know how they can find it offensive.”

Essex police issued a statement saying: “We are looking into a hate crime accusation that was submitted to us on February 24.”

“Essex police have discussed the progression of this case with the Crown Prosecution Service. On Tuesday 4 April, officers attended a location off Argent Street, Grays, and seized several items in connection with that investigation.

“The force is proud of the work we do prevent crime, tackle offenders and build trust and confidence in all communities.”

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