Police Chief Constable responds to criticism over officers dancing at pride parade while on duty
| Last updated
A group of police officers have been criticised after they were captured dancing the Macarena at an LGBTQ+ pride festival.
The officers were filmed performing the popular dance at the Lincoln Pride Festival.
Some even held up pride flags as onlookers cheered them on.
While partaking in the festivities when on-duty isn’t a criminal offence, many were left outraged.
As the clip circulated online, some people questioned why Lincoln law enforcement were partying it up instead of fighting crime.
And who can’t dance to the Macarena! @lincspolice All fun down at Lincoln Pride! 😃🏳️⚧️🏳️🌈 pic.twitter.com/JC6oXIBHlY— Lincoln Police (@LincolnPoliceUK) August 20, 2022
British actor Laurence Fox posted: "I suppose, given the choice, learning the Macarena is a far easier endeavour than actually doing your job."
Columnist Toby Young tweeted: "Why are on-duty police officers partying instead of tackling crime?"
A former cop said: “I served 30 yrs in the Police Force. 1979-2009. I no longer recognise the police of today. My colleagues wore their uniform with Pride not dancing at pride.”
While another wrote: “Don't worry about the bloke being stabbed just around the corner. He'll be fine.”
Following the criticism, Chief Constable Chris Haward defended the actions of his colleagues, praising them for engaging with the community during an important and inclusive event.
In a statement, he said: "Lincolnshire Police officers are at Pride to make sure that everyone attending experiences a safe and happy event.
"Lincoln Pride is a celebration of inclusivity and representation within the LGBTQ+ community and, as Lincolnshire Police, we are there to support them and build confidence in our service.
Chief Constable Chris Haward comments on #LincolnPride2022.— Lincolnshire Police (@LincsPolice) August 21, 2022
He said: “Lincolnshire Police officers are at Pride to make sure that everyone attending experiences a safe and happy event.
"I expect my officers and staff to engage with people attending Pride; to chat, laugh, join in, and even dance, where it is appropriate to do so and does not detract from their duties."
He added: "We want everyone attending Lincoln Pride to know that we are there for them and that our service to Lincolnshire communities is truly inclusive, we aim to treat every member of the public we serve with fairness and impartiality."
He concluded that he wants the community to see Lincoln police beyond their uniform.
The Chief Constable of neighbouring West Midlands Police, Sir David Thompson, also fired away at critics, maintaining that police were still doing their job despite momentarily dancing.
He also accused people of trying to instigate a ‘culture war’.
Thompson wrote: “It is seconds in a tour of duty and done professionally. Vital we engage at these events. I am sick of us being a culture war football.”