Police recorded nearly 120,000 “non-criminal” hatred episodes and may have prevented the accused from getting work, the Telegraph can reveal.
On Friday, a High Court judge ruled that the Hate Crime Operational Guidelines, which inform the police work nationally, had been used illegally to interfere with a man’s free speech.
The guidelines, introduced six years ago by the College of Policing, state that any action perceived as motivated by hostility towards the religion, race or identity of the transgender must be recorded “regardless of whether there is evidence to identify the element of hatred. “
Although the police accept that these incidents are not crime, they are still connected to a system and can even occur during a DBS check when applying for work.
A total of 119,934 non-criminal incidents were formally registered by 34 police forces in England and Wales between 2014, when driving was introduced, and 2019.
By far the majority of the incidents were recorded by South Wales police, who recorded 13,856 cases over the five-year period, surpassing the country’s largest police force, Scotland Yard, by over 4,000.
Metropolitan police reported the second highest number of incidents at 9,473, followed by Merseyside Police at 8,644, and Surrey Police at 8,256, according to data obtained under the Freedom of Information Law from Telegraph.
It comes when a former police officer, Harry Miller, won his legal battle against Humberside police after facing investigations into alleged “transphobic” tweets.
In a historic ruling, the High Court found that force had a “chilling effect” on Mr. Miller visiting his workplace and suggesting that he could be charged.
The married father of four was contacted by a “community cohesion officer” last year after a Twitter user complained that he shared a “transphobic limerick”.
Judge Julian Knowles compared police actions to Stasi and Gestapo, as he determined that the tweets were legal and claimed that there was “no risk at all”. Mr. Miller allegedly committed a crime by continuing to tweet.
The right to have opinions ranging from the offensive to “the irritant, the contentious, the eccentric, the heretic, the unwelcome and the provocative”, he said, was a “cardinal democratic freedom”.
“The effect of the police who show up at his workplace because of his political views should not be underestimated,” concluded his judgment.
“Doing so would mean underestimating a cardinal democratic freedom. In this country we have never had a Cheka, a Gestapo or a Stasi. We have never lived in an Orwellian society.”
Holding a copy of the Nineteen Eighty-Four outside George Orwell’s court, Miller, 54, hailed the result as a “watershed moment for freedom” and vowed to continue tweeting.
His attorney, Paul Conrathe, said the ruling meant that “it was entirely acceptable to uphold the opinion and communicate that a trans woman is not a woman”.
“This view is not hateful, transphobic or illegal,” he said in a statement.
The 65-page judgment stated that the reaction of the woman who complained of Mr. Miller’s tweets, named only as Mrs. B, was, at times, “on the outer edge of rationality”.
The judge said that Ms. B’s statement – which suggests that Mr. Miller would have been anti-Semitic during World War II and that transgender people could “say goodbye to their rights” if he won the case – represented an “extreme mentality” .
He said his evidence “would tend to confirm” the opinion of an academic expert that “some involved in the transgender debate are ready to accuse others with whom they disagree with showing hatred or being transphobic when they are not, but they simply take a different view. “
The case has echoes of recent legal battles over transgender issues, including Maya Forstater, a tax expert who has lost her job from allegedly “offensive” tweets.
The 45-year-old, who used social media to question government proposals to allow people to identify themselves as the opposite sex, took her employer to court last year.
However, in his case, an employment judge ruled that there was no legal right to ask whether a transgender person was a man or woman and decided that Forstater’s opinion was “incompatible with human dignity and fundamental rights. others. “
It is expected that Friday’s case will now be examined in the Supreme Court, after Mr. Justice Knowles has released a “piggyback certificate” to allow him to skip the court of appeal stage.
Ian Wise QC, representing Miller, cited the non-criminal statistics previously revealed by the Telegraph while asking for the certificate, saying to the court: “I say this is a problem that will inevitably go to the Supreme Court at a time when in the near future and there is a certain urgency in this regard: these problems arise daily “.
Judge Knowles rejected Mr. Miller ‘s broader challenge to the lawfulness of the College of Police orientation, stating that “it serves legitimate purposes and is not disproportionate”.