Rupert Matthews, a former Conservative MEP, who was elected as a PCC in May, made the statement on his third day in office. Mr Matthews wrote on the Conservative Home website: “Why are we meeting an organisation that wants to defund the police, has put police officers in hospital, and desecrated the cenotaph in London? ”He added: “Come the meeting, I have a dozen or so faces looking at me from the Teams screen. ‘Any Other Business’. ‘Yes,’ I say. ‘As of now this organisation will have absolutely no contact at all with Black Lives Matter.’ “There is a deathly silence. Meeting over, the screen goes blank.”
The ban, however, will only apply to staff employed in Mr Matthews’ office at Leicestershire Police headquarters.
Police officers and other senior officers who often speak to external organisations and have frequent contact with the community will not be affected.
This is because the PCC has no say in operational policing.
Many people have taken to Twitter to express their views on the issue.
One user said: “BLM actions have been criminal, so why communicate with them?”
Another added: “The tide is hopefully turning.
“Though why people, including an elected failing mayor, thought it was ok to simply rip down carved pieces of stone without lawful process is beyond me.”
Some people disagreed.
A spokesperson for Leicestershire PCC clarified what the ban will actually mean: “I can confirm that Mr Matthews directed his staff to have no contact with the Black Lives Matter organisation – BLM UK – for the reasons outlined in his blog.
“For clarity, the organisation is not the same as the Black Lives Matter movement, something he has previously supported and on which his stance is unchanged.”