UK Police Commissioner Demands End to 'Dangerous Transgender Ideology'
Residents 'scared of female-only spaces filling with women with male genitalia'
A top UK police official is demanding an end to the "dangerous transgender ideology" that is threatening "the safety of our women and girls."
Lisa Townsend, the newly-elected Police and Crime Commissioner overseeing Surrey police, has launched an unprecedented attack on the transgender lobby group Stonewall.
Townsend says she's been inundated with emails and messages from women too frightened to use female-only spaces over fears for their safety.
She says women's refuges and bathroom facilities are being opened up to people who "identify" as women even if they have male genitalia.
Stonewall, once best-known for promoting gay rights, is now leading the way in demanding that anyone should be free to determine their own gender.
The group is even campaigning biological males to be sent into female jails.
Stonewall is also paid by official bodies, including police forces, for its advice on transgender issues.
Now Ms. Townsend is demanding that Surrey Police stops employing Stonewall.
"Everybody has told me not to speak out about this, that the debate is incendiary, but if women like me can't or don't speak up who will?" Ms. Townsend told The Mail on Sunday.
"Stonewall, which has drifted so far from its original mission is now a threat to women and risks putting feminism back 50 years.
"Police forces, in an attempt to correct many of the wrongs committed against minorities in the past, are being naive if they believe that Stonewall are anything but a well-funded lobby group for a dangerous ideology that threatens the safety of our women and girls.
"The single biggest issue that filled up my inbox when I first announced I was standing as police and crime commissioner were concerns about gender self-identification," she said.
"They raised concerns about safeguarding, the recording of crime, the placement of trans women in women's prisons and men identifying as women in changing rooms.
"Some were mothers alarmed about the influence of trans lobby groups in schools.
"The women who contacted me were shocked that someone was finally listening to them.
"Some were anonymous – genuinely terrified to put their names to emails because the backlash for speaking out can be brutal.
"I heard from a prison officer recently from outside Surrey.
"She was asked to search a transwoman in custody.
"It was the first time she had been asked to conduct a search in a custody suite, and as a young officer she didn't feel she could refuse.
"She had never before been obliged to see male genitals in a professional situation."
Earlier this year an employment appeals tribunal found in favor of Maya Forstater, a tax consultant who lost her job following tweets in which she stated that there are two sexes, that it is impossible to change sex, and that sex matters.
These so-called "gender-critical" beliefs are now protected in law but expressing them publicly risks harassment from extremist transgender activists.
Nancy Kelley, chief executive of Stonewall, has described gender-critical beliefs as akin to antisemitism.
Stonewall argues that women-only refuges, rape crisis centers, and prisons should be open to males who say they identify as women, regardless of whether they have taken any cosmetic, administrative, or medical steps toward "transition."
Ms. Townsend says she believes in absolute equality "and was once proud to support Stonewall."
But today she believes that the group's focus on trans inclusion is misogynistic and potentially dangerous.
"Women are built differently," she said.
"We're not just small men.
"It does no one any good to pretend that biology doesn't matter, not least trans people."
Elected Police and Crime Commissioners were created in 2011 to hold police forces publicly accountable.
For Ms. Townsend, the way to protect women's rights and those of people who identify as trans is to record both "sex" and "gender."
She added: "We need to capture all data that might be relevant.
"I have no problem whatsoever with officers recording gender identity.
"I think that's actually a really useful thing to do, as long as we're also recording sex.
"I don't see how anyone with legitimate concerns could have a problem with that.
"We need data on sex, particularly around rape and serious sexual assaults – both to get a picture of perpetrators and to support victims, including trans people."
"One of the areas I feel most strongly about is domestic abuse," she said.
"I've been really fortunate to visit organizations and to have met survivors, both in Surrey and outside of the county.
"And the one thing that comes through every time is how terrified they are of being forced to admit males.
"These services are life-saving, and to many of the women who use them it is vital they stay single-sex."