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Officers open ‘non-crime hate incident file’ after boy, 11, is called ‘shorty’ and ‘leprechaun’

Awake cops open ‘non-crime hate incident file’ after boy, 11, is called ‘shorty’ and ‘leprechaun’

  • Wiltshire officers intervened after the child was verbally abused in the street
  • 11-year-old boy was called ‘shorty’ and a ‘leprechaun’ in ‘non-hate crime incident’
  • It comes after the College of Policing revised its guidelines on non-crime hate incidents following a landmark ruling last December.

Police opened a ‘hate incident’ file after an 11-year-old boy was called ‘shorty’.

Wiltshire police intervened after the child, also known as a ‘leprechaun’, was verbally abused in the street in a ‘non-crime hate incident’.

According to critics, such incidents have gotten out of hand The sun

“It’s unimaginable that one kid calling another ‘shorty’ becomes a police matter,” said Josie Appleton, director of freedom of expression for the Manifesto Club.

‘The inclusion of ‘non-crimes’ puts the police in the dangerous realm of police speech and everyday interactions.

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Wiltshire police intervened after the child, dubbed a ‘leprechaun’, was verbally abused in the street in a ‘non-hate crime incident’ (stock image)

What are ‘non-criminal hate incidents’?

Non-crime incidents are defined as “any non-crime incident perceived by the victim or another person as motivated by hostility or prejudice,” according to the College of Policing.

Reports of non-criminal hate incidents can crop up in criminal records checks for six years, but there are no grounds for appeal.

Officers must take into account the human rights of people, including the right to respect for private and family life, the right to practice one’s religion or belief, freedom of expression and freedom of assembly and association in these cases.

The College of Policing is now working on new ‘guarantees’ to ensure that future recordings of non-criminal hate incidents do not disproportionately infringe on the legal right to express their views following a landmark ruling last year.

This means that non-criminal hate incidents will still persist, but guidelines for their use will be tightened.

“The police have created this dubious non-crime-hate incident system on their own initiative and have been ordered by the Court of Appeal and the Minister of the Interior to scrap it.

“It’s high time they did.”

Andrew Allison, Chief Executive of the Freedom Association, added: “Something is either a crime or it isn’t.

“Non-criminal hate incidents threaten freedom of expression and should be relegated to the dustbin of history.”

He added that the decision to open a file could also have an impact on the accused’s future employment prospects, as the report could surface in a criminal record over the next six years.

The accused has no right of appeal.

Reports on non-crime hate incidents were introduced in 2014 in response to recommendations from the independent Macpherson investigation into the murder of Stephen Lawrence.

The College of Policing defines them as those “perceived by the victim or others as motivated by hostility or prejudice.”

About 10,000 incidents are registered every year.

The College of Policing was recently forced to revise its guidelines on non-crime hate incidents after a landmark ruling last December.

Harry Miller, a former Humberside Police Officer, won a lawsuit from the Court of Appeals over advice on “hate incidents” after alleging it unlawfully violates the right to freedom of expression.

Mr Miller was approached by colleagues in January 2020 over alleged transphobic tweets. Police registered the complaint as a ‘non-crime hate incident’.

It is unknown what was in the tweets, which were later deleted, although he is known to have retweeted a poem with the line, “Your vagina isn’t going anywhere.”

Mr Miller, of Lincolnshire, challenged both the actions of the Humberside Police and the College of Policing guidelines with the Supreme Court in 2020. A judge ruled that the police’s actions constituted a “disproportionate interference” in the law of the United States. Mr Miller on freedom of speech.

But his objection to the College’s guidance was rejected, with the judge ruling that it “serves legitimate purposes and is not disproportionate.”

However, in a separate ruling, the Court of Appeal ruled that the guidelines also violated his freedom of expression rights, forcing the College of Policing to revise its guidelines to add more safeguards for free speech.

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