UK Home Secretary Priti Patel is reportedly seeking new powers to control the way police officers record “non-criminal hate speech” such as when a victim, or anyone else, perceives prejudice “because of their race, religion, sexual orientation, disability or because they are transgender”.
Guidance will have to be redrawn after Dame Victoria Sharp, one of England’s most senior judges, said that it did nothing to exclude “irrational complaints . . . and little, if anything, to address the chilling effect this may have on the legitimate exercise of freedom of expression”.
This comes after a former police officer, won a court battle over his right to tweet about transgender issues. He posted several comments on social media about transgender issues, expressing his conviction that gender is biologically immutable. His comments were reported to Humberside police for being allegedly transphobic, and he was visited at his home by the force.
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Police forces have recorded as many as 120,000 supposed non-criminal hate incidents since the guidance was introduced: a major diversion of police time and resources when forces are so overstretched that UK police now rarely, if ever, investigate home burglaries.
The House of Lords is to debate regulations to control the creation of police records on people who have committed no crimes: specifically “non-criminal hate incidents.”
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