‘Protect free speech…not soft skin’: Police told to focus on ‘tackling serious crimes’ and stop registering petty online arguments as ‘non-crime hate incidents’
- Officers must stop recording petty online altercations as ‘non-crime hate incidents’
- The new guidelines indicate that offensive actions will only be recorded when necessary
Police must prioritize free speech over people who commit crimes under the long-awaited rules unveiled today.
Officers will be told in new Home Office guidelines to stop recording petty online arguments and altercations as “non-crime hate incidents.”
They will be given orders to use common sense and ensure the right to free expression is protected so that they can focus on tackling serious crimes instead.
Offensive actions will only be recorded when absolutely necessary and personal details of those involved will only be included if they are deemed hostile or at risk of causing significant harm.
Home Secretary Soella Braverman said last night: “I have been deeply concerned about reports of police being wrongly involved in a legal debate in this country.
We’ve made it clear that when recording so-called non-criminal hate incidents, officers should always have freedom of expression at the forefront of their minds.
Last night, Home Secretary Soella Braverman said she was “deeply concerned about reports of police being wrongfully involved in a legal debate in this country.”
Officers will be told in new Home Office guidance to stop recording petty online arguments and bickering on the playground as ‘non-crime hate incidents’
The new law will ensure that police prioritize their efforts where they are truly needed and focus on tackling serious crimes such as robbery, violent crime, rape and other sexual crimes.
The Practice Bill, which will come before parliament today, follows years of fears that police are wrongly targeting people for online opinions, comments and even jokes.
Officials must consider in the states 40-page draft whether recording an incident would interfere with the subject’s freedom of expression including “legal debate, humor, sarcasm, and personal opinions.”
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