Ex-cop accused over hate limerick on Twitter speaks out The Sunday Times 26.01.20

The original article is here.

A man involved in a landmark legal case relating to a “non-crime hate incident” says that officers began acting as “thought police” out of the best of intentions.

Harry Miller, 55, from Lincolnshire, was told by an officer a verse he had posted about transgender people on Twitter would be recorded as a “hate incident” under the College of Policing’s guidelines.

Speaking ahead of the judgment on the case, which is expected early next month, he said: “I am pro-police. I do not think that the people in the police force have looked at this and thought how can we become totalitarian?

“In trying to do the right thing and be inclusive, they’ve done absolutely the wrong thing because they sold out on the core principle of not being political. I think that in so doing they’ve subcontracted out their critical thinking to Stonewall [the lobby group for LGBT rights].”

The test case, supported by Fair Cop, a pressure group, challenges guidance, issued to police forces across the country, stating that a comment reported as hateful must be recorded “irrespective of whether there is any evidence to identify the hate element”.

It emerged earlier this month that 27 police forces have recorded at least 87,000 hate incidents in the past five years, even though they accept that they are not crimes.

Miller, a married father of four and a former constable with Humberside police, said: “It is definitely not the job of the state to restrict what we can and cannot talk about. It really is as though the police have looked at [George Orwell’s] Nineteen Eighty-Four and thought: ‘Good book. Let’s try it.’

“My position is that trans women are not women. How do I say that without drawing the attention of the police?

“And their answer to me was: ‘We’re not saying you can’t say that, but why would you want to when it upsets people’s feelings?’”

Meanwhile, Sarah Phillimore, a barrister advising Fair Cop, warned that new police and Crown Prosecution Service guidelines will criminalise schoolchildren aged from 11 to 16 for expressing doubts about gender ideology.

 

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