Police in Derbyshire have severed ties with their own male voice choir and taken away their rehearsal room on the grounds it does not promote ‘gender equality’.
The Derbyshire Constabulary Male Voice Choir, which was founded in 1956 and has raised hundreds of thousands of pounds for charity, has been told it must rebrand and will no longer be allowed to rehearse at St Mary’s Wharf Police Station, leaving members “heartbroken and devastated”.
Chief Constable Peter Goodman said that having a male voice choir representing his “organisation”, as he termed the police force, was “incompatible” with its “need to represent our communities in every aspect of our public presence”.
Why is a police officer advising shops on "gender identity"? https://t.co/OdfzpgQfju
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“I was invited to a meeting with the Chief Constable, Peter Goodman, in September, and I was really looking forward to it. I thought it would be positive and him applauding our work over the years,” Kevin Griffiths, choir chairman, told the Derby Telegraph.
“I was very taken aback by what happened. He said he could no longer support a male voice choir and he said he wanted us to become a mixed voice choir. I was shell-shocked.
“We have had no financial support from Derbyshire Constabulary for many years. We survive by raising our own money.
“After considering the logistics and difficulties in undertaking such a transformation we felt unable to accept his invitation, which came from the force’s drive to promote gender equality in all aspects of its operations.
“It would mean us recruiting up to 50 new female members to make the balance of the choir work. The costs would be great and the logistics unmanageable.
“We’d lose all sense of identity of what we are.”
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“Members were heartbroken and devastated. Some members feel we have been the victims of political correctness,” Griffiths continued.
“If we were forming a new choir then I would understand their position, but we have been going for decades and decades.
“In that time we have raised £750,000 for different local charities. We have brought police officers and the community together. A number of our members are former police officers.
“We wear police uniform during our performances and we do that with great pride that we are representing the force.
“We are the casualty of an agenda,” he concluded, despite all the “good and positive work for them over the years, including building strong links with officers and the communities they serve”.