Police in the United Kingdom now are keeping records of allegations of hate crimes, even when no crime has occurred.
In a recent case, a 14-year-old girl, Miss B, explained, “We can’t live in fear that everything we say at school may be recorded somewhere on our records, simply because someone else didn’t like what you said.”
The College of Policing in the U.K. recently established the rule regarding “non-crime hate incidents, or NCHI, which the college classifies as “any non-crime incident which is perceived by the victim or any other person to be motivated by hostility or prejudice.”
The “non-crimes” could remain on children’s records for years and eventually be viewed by potential employers.
Now, some officials apparently are just “inventing hate offenses,” according the U.K.’s Christian Institute.
A group called the Free Speech Union has accused the College of Policing of “inventing” hate offenses and acting like “judge and jury.”
The institute noted the victim “does not have to justify or provide evidence of their belief for the purposes of reporting, and police officers or staff should not directly challenge this perception.”
“It must be clearly understood that evidence of an offense is not a requirement for a hate incident to be recorded. There is no evidential test as to what is or is not a hate incident.”
The institute said the practice of recording NCHIs suggests the police and the College of Policing “believe there should be stricter limits on free speech than Parliament has provided for and are imposing these limits themselves.”
Toby Young, general secretary of the FSU, said that in creating NCHIs, the college is “guilty of inventing a new category of wrongdoing which has neither been debated or approved by Parliament.”
The “non-offenses” are put in police databases, potentially blocking careers for teachers, nurses, physicians and police officers.
Young said, “They criminalize ordinary people for making a joke in bad taste on Twitter, as well as journalists, politicians, academics, comedians – even commentators discussing controversial areas of public policy.”
DailyMail.com reported Miss B is poised to launch a judicial review of the standards. Civil liberties groups say the non-crimes are without evidence and can injure someone later in life.
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