Policing Minister slaps down 'old-fashioned' police chief

Policing Minister Kit Malthouse slaps down ‘old-fashionedpolice chief after he encouraged officers to turn a blind eye to shoplifters stealing to eat

  • Andy Cooke said charging shoplifters stealing to eat should up to ‘discretion
  • Kit Malthouse has condemned the former Merseyside police chief remarks
  • The policing minister said ordered officers not to turn a blind eye to any crime
  • The policing minister slapped down the new chief inspector of constabulary yesterday for his ‘old-fashioned thinking’ about letting off shoplifters.

    Andy Cooke incurred the wrath of retailers when he said officers should use their ‘discretion’ in deciding whether to prosecute shoplifters stealing to eat.

    Now Kit Malthouse has condemned the former Merseyside police chief as he ordered officers not to turn a blind eye.

    The policing minister told LBC radio: ‘We believe the law should be blind and police officers should operate without fear or favour in prosecution of the law.’

    Andy Cooke (图为) incurred the wrath of retailers when he said officers should use their ¿discretion¿ in deciding whether to prosecute shoplifters stealing to eat

    Andy Cooke (图为) incurred the wrath of retailers when he said officers should use their ‘discretion’ in deciding whether to prosecute shoplifters stealing to eat

    Now Kit Malthouse (left with officers in Peterborough on Monday) has condemned the former Merseyside police chief as he ordered officers not to turn a blind eye

    Now Kit Malthouse (left with officers in Peterborough on Monday) has condemned the former Merseyside police chief as he ordered officers not to turn a blind eye

    When asked if ministers will ensure police do not turn a blind eye to shoplifters stealing food, 他回答: ‘Absolutely right. In fact I wrote to chief constables just a year or so ago saying they should not be ignoring those seemingly small crimes.’

    Mr Cooke, who was appointed to his role last month, told The Guardian on Wednesday he didn’t want to be seen as ‘giving carte blanche for people to go out shoplifting’. But he suggested police should use their ‘discretion more often’ to ensure matters are ‘dealt with in the best way possible’.

    His call came as inflation hit a 40-year high as food and energy prices soar, with the poorest bearing the brunt of rising prices.

    Yesterday the Prime Minister’s spokesman said: ‘Obviously the law does need to be enforced. At the same time police officers are rightly able to use their discretion.’