by Chauncey Tinker – 15 Mar 2018
Yesterday a screenshot was circulating on social media. The screenshot showed a section from the (London) Metropolitan Police’s website, which gave advice on “hate crime” reporting. In the screenshot was the following advice:
If someone does something that isn’t a criminal offence but the victim, or anyone else, believes it was motivated by prejudice or hate, we would class this as a ‘hate incident’. Though what the perpetrator has done may not be against the law, their reasons for doing it are. This means it may be possible to charge them with an offence.
So something that is not a criminal offence can become a criminal offence if the person believes that the something was “motivated by prejudice or hate“, according to the Metropolitan Police!
I have spent a lot of time looking at the CPS guidance on hate crime and (unless it has been altered since), I do not believe that the CPS guidance states that a non-crime becomes a crime if the motivation is perceived to be “prejudice or hate”. Obviously this opens the door to anything a person does or says becoming classified as a crime, which even by current Orwellian standards seems a little, well, over the top! I am going to have to study the advice on the CPS website again to be certain, I will report back in Part 2 on my findings. I suspect though that the Metropolitan Police have invented their own law here.
I simply could not believe my eyes and then it occurred to me that perhaps this was “fake news“, a doctored version of the website text. I then took the trouble to find the advice on the website directly, and I was absolutely flabbergasted to discover that it was in fact an un-doctored picture of the website text. Here is the screenshot:
Source, the Metropolitan Police website:
What is hate crime?
It’s rather long, but I wrote this post a while ago explaining why I think that hate crime is a fundamentally flawed concept:
Hate Crime - A Terribly Flawed Concept
I will be re-working this in the coming weeks so don’t bother reading it now if you’re short of time. I also need to add more examples – unfortunately there is an increasingly large embarrassment of riches on that front.
What do you think? Please leave a comment below.