Is there a law against hate? We HAVE to DISCUSS the police and CPS definition and identification of a hate crime. Watch out Comedians, they may be coming for you!
‘Hate’ – Oxford Dictionary definition: ‘feel an intense dislike for; have a strong aversion to’
In the U.K., you can do or say anything but not if it is contained in Statute, in an Act, not to do so, then it is illegal.
According to the Met Police and the CPS, they have their own definition for identifying and flagging hate crimes, which personally I find worrying, one sided and far too simplistic;
“Any criminal offence which is perceived by the victim or any other person, to be motivated by hostility or prejudice, based on a person’s disability or perceived disability; race or perceived race; or religion or perceived religion; or sexual orientation or perceived sexual orientation or transgender identity or perceived transgender identity.”
“There is no legal definition of hostility so we use the everyday understanding of the word which includes ill-will, spite, contempt, prejudice, unfriendliness, antagonism, resentment and dislike.
A hate incident is any incident which the victim, or anyone else, thinks is based on someone’s prejudice towards them because of their race, religion, sexual orientation, disability or because they are transgender.”
And that’s where we have a problem.
One would not argue that a crime truly motivated by hate based on racial, sexual, disability, religious identity etc., should be given a higher sentence if proven, as stated in the Criminal Justice Act 2003 and Crime and Disorder Act 1988, but for the Met Police and CPS to believe that an arrest and/or charge can be given for a criminal offence of hate purely based on the victim’s perception must surely be open to debate?
This is a totally one-sided view; I thought the British law always believed ‘innocent until proven guilty?” How do they interpret ‘unfriendliness’? Is it a crime to like some women, but dislike others? What are the actual reasons for the dislike?
From this perspective then, it cannot be arguable therefore that the BLM group should be arrested for ‘hate crimes’.
I believe we are going down a very dangerous slippery slope and even encroaching on Article 9 and 10 of the Human Rights Act 1998, freedom of thought, freedom of expression.
Does this mean the end of comedy? How many times do you hear comedians speak about the differences between men and women, of your sexuality, or your religion, your disability, your nationality? If someone is now offended by that joke, can they have that comedian arrested for a ‘hate crime’? I believe, according to the Police and CPS rules on perception, they can.
They go on to say “Not all hate incidents will amount to criminal offences, but it is equally important that these are reported and recorded by the police.
Evidence of the hate element is not a requirement. You do not need to personally perceive the incident to be hate related. It would be enough if another person, a witness or even a police officer thought that the incident was hate related.”
Arresting someone for a ‘hate crime’ because you ‘perceived’, or even a stranger ‘perceived’ it to be so, is a dangerous concept. Evidence is any material item or assertion of the fact that may be submitted in a competent Court as a means of ascertaining the truth of any alleged crime matter under investigation. Are the police saying then that no evidence is necessary and it is enough evidence just to be a ‘thought’? If the Courts today, give very little weight to ‘hearsay’, why then are we to believe they would uphold someone’s perception as evidence?
So therefore, will any other crime be changed to allow your perception of that person’s guilty to be not only permissible in Court but accepted as evidence? ‘I perceive that man to be guilty of the theft, therefore he is?
Are the police justified to use perception as evidence that a crime has been committed? Is this not one-sided? Someone perceives you are guilty, therefore you are; if both a policeman and a person believed you to be guilty of a ‘hate crime’ purely on the grounds of their perception, where is the justice in this?
It is also believed that the Police and the public can ‘overhear’ you saying something in your own home, and report you for a ‘hate crime’. What if you were telling a joke? A joke that was not offensive to anyone present, but a passer-by felt it offensive? Comedians – you have been warned!
There may be laws in the land, as given below, that cover ‘hate’ towards someone whether that be racial, religious, sexual orientation, disability, but it’s how its proved by the police and CPS that is a worry.
In England and Wales hate crime offences are covered by :
Sections 145 and 146 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 which allows prosecutors to apply for an uplift in sentence for those convicted of a hate crime.
“Racial or religious” (section 145) and “disability, sexual orientation, or transgender identity” (section 146).
Sections 28-32 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 which covers racial and religious grounds.
Racial and Religious Hatred Act 2006
(This Act to be inserted after Part 3 in The Public Order Act 1986 (c. 64))
“An Act to make provision about offences involving stirring up hatred against persons on racial or religious grounds.”
Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008
Section 5 Part 74 – Schedule 16 Hatred on the grounds of sexual orientation
(a)amends Part 3A of the Public Order Act 1986 (c. 64) (hatred against persons on religious grounds) to make provision about hatred against a group of persons defined by reference to sexual orientation, and
(b)makes minor amendments of that Part.