PFEW boycotts Dorchester in anti-Sultan protest
The Police Federation of England and Wales (PFEW) has announced it will no longer be holding its annual Police Bravery Awards at The Dorchester Hotel to protest against the move by the Sultan of Brunei to introduce new laws which make gay sex and adultery offences punishable by stoning to death. The Sultan heads the Brunei Investment Agency which owns the hotel
The prestigious event, which is in its 24th year, recognises and celebrates the extraordinary acts of bravery performed by members of the police service, has previously been held at The Dorchester but PFEW National Chair John Apter has announced the organisation has found an alternative venue.
Mr Apter said: “We have taken the decision to move our Bravery Awards form The Dorchester hotel this year. We cannot in all conscience support a regime which is so fundamentally opposed to the values of respect, diversity and equality we hold so highly within our organisation and policing as a whole. And although the decision is no reflection on the staff of the hotel itself who have always done their utmost to ensure that the event is a success, it is the right one.
The new measures, that came into force last Wednesday, also cover a range of other crimes including punishment for theft by amputation.
“I am confident this year’s event will be as moving and as poignant as it always has been, our brave and dedicated colleagues deserve nothing less. Local management at the hotel has reimbursed us after cancelling the deposit and have been incredibly understanding in these circumstances for which I am grateful.”
Around 350 people usually attend the event including the Home Secretary and Policing Minister. A new venue has been decided but will not be disclosed for security reasons.