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To not want to make a police report about a hate crime?

(45 Posts)
eliphant Sun 11-Mar-18 16:37:33

An elderly woman with a walking stick at the bus stop said to me "there are enough of people like you here ", "go back to your country", "England isn't like it used to be", etc. It all ended in about 5 mins and my 2 children witnessed it. At no point did we feel threatened. I could dismiss it as an old lady on one of her crazy rants.

After reading this website http://www.report-it.org.uk/home
I thought okay I am helping the gov collect better stats which could help someone else, so I reported it there. I assumed that was all and the end of it.

Little did I know, a police officer from my local station phoned me up within the hour and urged me to make a formal report at the station.

I'm now in two minds about it as I start thinking would my children or I be forced to attend court meetings etc. if they decide to go all the way with this? He said as the buses all have cctv they could find this woman? Also I feel a bit uncertain if I want to bring this lady all the way to court. It was an uncomfortable situation and unpleasant but it would not be something that shocked us. In our area there have been similar things happening to some ethnic minorities for years, especially visible Muslims. Personally I'm inclined to let it go, but what do you say otherwise? Should I cancel the appointment? And can I?

pitterpatterrain Sun 11-Mar-18 16:40:52

Given that your children witnessed it my thought would be to continue, to show how it is taken seriously and if people at school / elsewhere say anything like it they should tell someone as it is not acceptable

Caveat being I know nothing about the process from a police procedural POV

DarkRosaleen Sun 11-Mar-18 16:42:00

Do it. Do it so racists realize they can’t say those things especially in front of little children.

RuthsRandomRadish Sun 11-Mar-18 16:43:26

Agree. Report it to show your kids how wrong it is

Bombardier25966 Sun 11-Mar-18 16:44:02

Unless she's a repeat offender, it's very unlikely to end up in court. More likely she'll either get a good talking to (if she is elderly and not entirely with it) or a caution.

Please do follow it through. I can understand why you don't want to, but nothing will ever change if people don't stand up to these vile bigots. And that's what she is, irrespective of her age.

Iooselipssinkships Sun 11-Mar-18 16:44:41

Please follow through. Maybe the little old dear will hold her poisonous tongue next time. Show your children to stand up to bullies, no matter how frail they may seem.
It might not end up in court if she's issued a caution.

kerryweaverscrutch Sun 11-Mar-18 16:46:09

I wouldn't if I were you.

SunshineAfterRain Sun 11-Mar-18 16:47:39

I think by following through with your report shows your children that the abuse you received is in no way aceptible. And if they are ever treated like that then it's right for them to report it too.
Sorry you had this experience flowers

LemonSqueezy0 Sun 11-Mar-18 16:53:21

I think you should report it. It is very unlikely to go to court anyway, and it will be positive for your children to see this taken seriously. You really should try to avoid them feeling like they have to let things like this go all the time. They don't. And, unfortunately this is likely to come up again many times.

Glumglowworm Sun 11-Mar-18 17:06:42

Being elderly is no excuse for spewing hatred at strangers and their children

Even if she holds those opinions privately (which is still wrong!) there’s absolutely no need to start abusing strangers.

I agree with PP that you should report it to show your children that racist abuse is never something they need to tolerate.

AgentProvocateur Sun 11-Mar-18 17:09:02

Do it so your children know they don’t have to take any abuse in the future. Hope she does get dragged to court. Being old doesn’t make it ok to be a racist.

umadbro Sun 11-Mar-18 17:09:22

Do it, because the next person she does it towards may not be able to handle it

pointythings Sun 11-Mar-18 17:14:09

Do it. She did this in front of two small children - either she has dementia, or she has no shame. No matter which, she needs reining in.

My DDs have been told to 'fuck off back home' in the wake of the Brexit vote at school (they were born here) and the school came down on the offenders. Yesterday I witnessed an incident of racially aggravated verbal abuse and was contacted by the police, who took a statement. It may come to court and if it does, I will be there. People need to stand up to racists and bigots. If you remain silent, you're colluding.

Bambamber Sun 11-Mar-18 17:16:02

I agree with pp. Do it for your children's sake, so they know that kind of behaviour isn't acceptable from anyone and they don't have to tolerate it. Do it for yourself because you don't deserve to be spoken to like that. And do it for other people as the lady may continue with her disgusting mouth at others until someone stands up to her

LadyLaSnack Sun 11-Mar-18 17:17:10

* think by following through with your report shows your children that the abuse you received is in no way aceptible. And if they are ever treated like that then it's right for them to report it too.
Sorry you had this experience flowers
*

This!!

Every single word!!

So sorry you have to put up with this bullshit OP flowers

LadyLaSnack Sun 11-Mar-18 17:17:37

(Bold fail! - sorry)

Buster72 Sun 11-Mar-18 17:25:50

In effect you have already reported it. Home office rules mean a report will have gone on so any statistics have been gathered. As for prosecution it may not be in the public interest to pursue. Her opinions are odious but not illegal.

velourvoyageur Sun 11-Mar-18 17:49:16

In the interests of encouraging an ageism-free society, elderly racists shouldn't expect to be exonerated on the basis of their age. They are participants in society, they shouldn't be treated like their actions don't leave a mark, like they're invisible or on the brink of death. Every age group has value & releasing someone from a social contract on the basis of a characteristic such as age is v. problematic. Ad hoc relaxing the law for them (beyond a reasonable degree) is just as marginalising as what she is trying to do. So I wouldn't feel guilty about the age thing.

I'm sorry that happened to you and your kids, and especially sorry that it's got to the point where you're not shocked flowers I think you would definitely be doing a good and selfless thing in reporting it, but anyone would understand if you didn't afterall want to keep the appointment (unfair but unavoidable that victims have to do a lot of the work in getting their own victimhood accounted for). Maybe you could ask the police for confirmation of what Buster said, i.e. how will your initial complaint have been recorded.

TooManyPaws Sun 11-Mar-18 17:56:51

I'm sorry that something so horrible happened to you. I'm even more sorry that you have to dismiss it as a regular occurrence in your area.

I would agree that you should continue with the report, both for your children and for the sake of others faced with this racist bigot. She's likely to be spoken to severely and/or given a caution, and it might mean the vile creature keeps her foul mouth shut in future.

Yes, hate speech and racism IS illegal and my mind is boggled by PP who think it isn't. It's why the two balloons from Britain First are jailed, though I doubt there will be court let alone jail in this instance sadly directed at you.

Buster72 Sun 11-Mar-18 18:11:36

The balloons from Britain first were jailed for harassment. From the description given this is not harassment and falls shy of the public order act. The opinion expressed is distasteful but not illegal.
Should it be repeated you may have a shot at harassment.

Gemini69 Sun 11-Mar-18 18:16:30

what a nasty spiteful old woman... just horrible.. Police need to have a word in her poisonous ear flowers

HiggeldyPigsinblankets Sun 11-Mar-18 21:35:35

what a vile woman, I would follow it up, as i would be more inclined to think do I want my children to have to constantly have to face this type of racism. its not acceptable

Bitlost Sun 11-Mar-18 21:44:14

I'm really sorry this happened to you and I hope your children are ok. I think you should go and make a formal report. If the process is unclear to you, going to the police station will be the opportunity for you to ask any questions you have.

Eltonjohnssyrup Sun 11-Mar-18 21:50:33

Report it. If she has any sort of illness like dementia which means she’s not responsible for her actions the police will establish that. But if she’s not then she needs to be dealt with.

It’s extremely unlikely that your children would need to attend court given that you are a witness and there will be CCTV and possibly there might be other witnesses like the driver.

You would be setting a really good example to your children that they don’t have to tolerate this.

BlancheM Sun 11-Mar-18 21:55:33

I totally get why you're uncertain. But I wouldn't worry about the case being brought to court if that's what's putting you off- it won't get that far. If the woman was half her age, and had a bat in her hand rather than a walking stick, then maybe so.
She will certainly think twice about her actions though after a police visit.
I'm so glad that certain police forces are on the ball when it comes to hate crime now.

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