News & Commentary United Kingdom

Former police officer has his “thoughts checked” by police representing the LGBTQ community, sues after being accused of ‘hate crime’

A former police officer is suing UK police after being accused of a ‘hate crime’ before having his “thoughts checked” by an officer claiming to represent the LGBTQ community.

Humberside Police tracked former police officer, Harry Miller, to his place of work after acquiring several tweets suggesting ‘transgender women are not real women.’ Police told Miller that an anonymous person had reported him for hate speech, saying his workplace would not be a “safe place” for trans people.

Despite being told that he had committed no crime, the officer told Miller, “I need to check your thinking.”

After being subject to a 30-minute police inquiry, Miller was warned to watch his words or risk losing his job, as potential LGBTQ employees would not have a “safe place” if they decided to work with Miller.

Humberside Police accused Miller of posting tweets that were designed to cause distress to the transgender community and recorded the event as an official ‘hate incident.’ Miller’s record now states that he has committed a ‘non-crime’ ‘hate incident’ against transgender people.

A ‘hate incident’ is defined as: “non-crime perceived by the victim or any other person to be motivated by hostility or prejudice based on a person’s race or perceived race/ religion or perceived religion / sexual orientation or perceived sexual orientation / disability or perceived disability / transgender or perceived to be transgender.”

Tim Dieppe, the head of Public Policy at Christian Concern, comments:

Notice how many times ‘perception’ is emphasised in this definition. Basically, if anyone perceives anything as a hate incident then it is a hate incident. The police will then have to record it, and there is no innocent till proven guilty. There is no proven guilty at all. In fact, there is no way to prove innocence either. Such an allegation will be recorded against you forevermore, with no recourse to fact or anything else. No matter whether the motive of the reporting person was actually hate in the first place!

Miller is now taking Humberside Police to court over the incident in an effort to have his name cleared. A judicial review case will look into whether the police are in breach of human rights.


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