Swindon and Wiltshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) has released a statement regarding his approach to transgender women in women’s prisons and toilets, labelling the issue as ‘a matter of public security and not inclusiveness’.
Philip Wilkinson OBE released the statement on his Facebook page yesterday (8th September 2021) after being asked to make a statement about trans issues on the 5th September.
The statement shows support for the Surrey Police and Crime Commissioner Lisa Townsend, who in an interview for the Mail On Sunday, said that Stonewall (a UK based lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights charity) are “a well-funded lobby group for a dangerous ideology that threatens the safety of our women and girls”.
She explained that concerns about gender self-identification, safeguarding, the placement of trans women in women’s prisons, and men identifying as women in changing rooms, filled her inbox when she first announced that she was standing as PCC.
Philip Wilkinson’s statement reads:
“I believe that we should treat every other human being with respect and courtesy irrespective of their sex, gender or sexual orientation. I believe passionately in inclusiveness and diversity and Martin Luther King’s ethos that we should treat every individual by what is within and not the colour of their skin.
“As a proud citizen of the UK, let alone as the Police and Crime Commissioner for Wiltshire, I will therefore not support any organisation that promotes a narrow ideology that is exclusive, divisive and potentially dangerous.
“I therefore agree entirely with the sentiments expressed by Lisa Townsend, the new Police and Crime Commissioner for Surrey. Like her, I do not believe that the vast majority of women in this country wish to allow biological men into their private enclosed spaces such as women’s prisons and female toilets. That is a matter of public security and not inclusiveness. I will not therefore support any organisation that promotes such a narrow and exclusive agenda and if necessary, that includes Stonewall.”
His statement goes on to say:
“There is also a very practical and unhelpful aspect to the promotion of this exclusive and prescriptive agenda. If we demand, without opt-out, to know the sex, gender and sexual preferences of those we are trying to recruit, many of those potential recruits, particularly those of religious faith, will take themselves elsewhere and we will lose many good people. If we claim to be inclusive and wish to recruit the very best individuals, we cannot adopt practices that positively encourage intolerance, exclusivity and are therefore divisive.
“As I see my role as the Police and Crime Commissioner for Wiltshire, it is to listen to the concerns of my residents and to respond through the application of the appropriate rule of law and justice provisions to those concerns, while being compassionate and caring to every individual, especially victims of crime and those who are troubled or in distress. I believe that I was elected to bring the application of the law democratically closer to the quiet majority and I will not to be distracted by any minority lobbying group. And if I fail to do that the people of Wiltshire should rightly replace me at the next PCC election”.
Stonewall has been approached for comment.
Philip Wilkinson’s full statement can be found here.