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I have been recorded by my local police force as 'hateful'
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Spero · 31/07/2020 09:15

Dear All

I am posting here in case I 'disappear' from Twitter. I set out the background here if you want to read more.
twitter.com/SVPhillimore/status/1289109245280100353?s=20

In a nutshell I made a Subject Access Request of Wiltshire police after a Twitter account boasted I now had a 'record for life' of my 'hate'. The police disclosed to me 12 pages of screenshots that were not hateful in the least; they were mainly discussions about the GC debate that have been confirmed as protected political speech.

I have requested this is deleted; the Information Management Team at Wiltshire have declined so I will go through their appeal process, eventually to the PCC and then judicial review.

I am writing to urge ANYONE who publishes on line about gender ID etc in their own name or is otherwise readily identifiable, to make a SAR of you own force to see what is recorded against you; you will not be told.

If there are others in the same position as me it might be sensible to consider joining forces in some kind of class action.

hopefully I will know by the autumn if I am going for JR.

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ThePurported · 31/07/2020 12:11

Reposting my comment from the Fair Cop thread:

[Sarah writes in her blog] "There are pages and pages of my ‘hate’ against transgender people where I say disgusting and offensive things like this:

The Equality Act does protect sex as a characteristic. But it isn’t one of the police’s bonkers protected strands for the purposes of hate crime/non crime as they know it would overwhelm them in about five minutes.

The police (rightly) took no further action commenting, ‘what she says is not offence [sic] no matter how disagreeable and offensive to the RP’ (reporting person). However, despite that inevitable conclusion, it is still recorded as a ‘hate incident’ against my name — which is helpfully set out in ALL CAPS. No third party reviewing that document will see the word ‘incident’. They will see the word ‘hate’.

The anodyne nature of the tweets and the fact that someone waited until December to report publications made in May, made me doubt that anyone could genuinely have been outraged. That doubt was cemented when I looked more closely at the screenshots and saw the words in bold: Jewish, hate, police, report, trans woman, Nazi. Someone had simply conducted an advanced search of my tweets using those keywords. Any outrage here was clearly manufactured.

I made a complaint to the police on the basis that this report was malicious. I was able to provide a wealth of evidence to support my assertion that I have been targeted and harassed online since 2016 by a group of people. The clearest evidence of malice in my view was the online boasting of one anonymous Twitter account which in June 2020 made repeated gleeful references to my now having a ‘record for life’ of my ‘hate’.

I asked the police to either delete this recording or if they would not do that, to delete all identifying details about me and simply refer to ‘a Wiltshire resident’. If they would not do that, my third and least favourite option would be to amend the record to include my objections and that I had provided evidence to support my assertion that this was a malicious complaint.

The police decided they would not delete but record my objections alongside this record, which will be kept for six years."

Wow. Sarah Flowers

Why can't the police anonymise these records? These 'incidents' are nothing like crimes, so the only purpose of logging them is statistical analysis - right? And even then, the value of the data is questionable when it includes 'incidents' like someone tweeting 'Huh.'

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NotBadConsidering · 31/07/2020 12:11

suggestionsplease1

That’s hate crimes. This is about hate incidents. Which means anything that offends anyone. No crime committed.

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suggestionsplease1 · 31/07/2020 12:15

Would that come up on a disclosure check?

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DialSquare · 31/07/2020 12:15

This is terrible. I don't have any social media accounts so all my GC posting is on here or verbally but I do dig regularly so as soon as any digging is required, I'll be there.

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Dances · 31/07/2020 12:18

Yes hate incidents are simply recorded. I can walk into my local police station and tell them that neighbour is a big fat transphobe who says women are not men etc. Recorded as a Hate Incident against her. Or I can say that she used the N word or the P word etc

I might also just not like her though ....

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Lordamighty · 31/07/2020 12:19

What on Earth has happened to the police in this country, they appear to have taken leave of their senses.

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ClosdesMouches · 31/07/2020 12:26

Someone said to think about what would happen off of the Internet, but if this happened in 'real life' within a spoken conversation it would then be a he said she said type of situation where the police would have nothing to report as its just feelings, we are also socially conditioned that it isn't polite to talk about things like politics, money and sex within public places so these types on conversations are more likely to happen through friend groups where friendships would be broken when differing opinions on issues such as these, not have police reports filed, whereas online it's easy to get worked up over things as people don't feel real, which is why I believe an alias to be best when discussing certain topics to avoid incidents like this happening, people lives are being ruined because of tweets and Facebook posts, and it's not going to get better anytime soon.

NekoShiro, you've admitted that you're still trying to educate yourself about this. The paragraph above demonstrates that you have poor understanding of the recording of hate incidents and what 'evidence' is required.

Read up on it - this is something that everyone needs to be aware of. Even more urgently if you're in Scotland.

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calllaaalllaaammma · 31/07/2020 12:29

This is not what we want a police force for.

It's unbelievable that it has come to this.

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ThePurported · 31/07/2020 12:30

I can sort of understand why people who are new to this can't quite grasp the problem and their first instinct is to assume that Sarah must have said something offensive.

It's difficult to comprehend that there is now this concept called 'hate incident' which the police themselves define as a non-crime and which allows anyone - literally anyone and not just the 'victim' - to report 'perceived hate' towards someone. It's so ludicrous.

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BoreOfWhabylon · 31/07/2020 12:33

I hope they do refuse to delete. This needs to be before a court. What is happening is wrong and cannot be left unchecked.

Indeed. Thanks for hopefully shining some sunlight on this whole sinister mess, Spero. Hopefully it will be picked up by the press.

My spade and I stand ready to dig for your victory.

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PronounssheRa · 31/07/2020 12:35

neko

but if this happened in 'real life' within a spoken conversation it would then be a he said she said type of situation where the police would have nothing to report as its just feelings, we are also socially conditioned that it isn't polite to talk about things like politics, money and sex within public places so these types on conversations are more likely to happen through friend groups where friendships would be broken when differing opinions on issues such as these, not have police reports filed

Your conversation could be overheard by a 3rd party, who could report you. And yes, feelings can be reported, there doesn't have to be evidence

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NotBadConsidering · 31/07/2020 12:35

I can sort of understand why people who are new to this can't quite grasp the problem and their first instinct is to assume that Sarah must have said something offensive.

And that’s an important part of Sarah’s point. She’s tarred with that brush because people glance and see “hate” and police and assume they must be doing it properly and there must be something to it. And that’s the aim of all this by these vexatious reporters. To tar someone, to blight their reputation, to take advantage of the fact people usually don’t look too deeply into the facts.

It’s like when people post “facts” on here with links they don’t expect people to click on and read, except they’re surprised when we do, analyse them and call bullshit. Unfortunately in most circumstances though, people just see word association and it sticks.

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Palladin · 31/07/2020 12:38

These are shocking Stasi-techniques.
I'm in awe of you, Spero!

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Spero · 31/07/2020 12:38

@suggestionsplease1

Would that come up on a disclosure check?

This is one of the big problems. We just don't know. In the Fair Cop JR it seemed that the police were arguing it was at the discretion of the Chief Constable and it would come up on enhanced disclosure, depending on the nature of the job applied for etc.

I imagine if I ever wanted to apply to be a Judge I can forget about it now.
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NotBadConsidering · 31/07/2020 12:41

Someone could report NekoShiro just for posting on this board, which people claim is a “hotbed of transphobia”. Given NekoShiro is partaking in perpetuating this, by posting and using Mumsnet as a platform, many people find that offensive (some of whom monitor, waves 👋).

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BovaryX · 31/07/2020 12:43

It's difficult to comprehend that there is now this concept called 'hate incident' which the police themselves define as a non-crime and which allows anyone - literally anyone and not just the 'victim' - to report 'perceived hate' towards someone. It's so ludicrous

It is in the territory of Kafka and Orwell. It is hard to comprehend that this is actually happening in a Western democracy as PP have said. Where is the media outrage about this?

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Spero · 31/07/2020 12:44

Exactly.

My favourite 'hate tweet' was - my dog will call me a Nazi for cheese.
With a picture of my dog looking sad.

A whole page of me arguing for abortion rights for 12 year olds - presumably that was 'transphobic' to 'trans girls' who can't get pregnant.

Who knows.

Also a hell of lot of repetition over the 12 pages; the same tweets appearing over and over. Looked like an attempt to inflate the seriousness of it to me.

Also someone put in a headline - posts against transgender individuals.

There was NOTHING ABSOLUTELY NOTHING against any named individual. They were all general comments in the context of conversations.

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sleepyhead · 31/07/2020 12:49

There's no media outrage because the word "hate" is so evocative. It immediately puts in your mind's eye a picture of frothing, spitting, spiteful rage - hate is clearly wrong = a hateful person is a bad person.

And we can all think of hate incidents which would be completely beyond the pale - woman shouting at an immigrant on the bus who cowers under the hate; Jewish person exposed to endless innuendo about bankers; transwoman pointed at and mocked in the street - surely recording this is valuable?

You can see how easy it would be to twist any resistance to the concept as a hate incident in itself Hmm.

Of course, STA and their ilk are deliberately encouraging the reporting of hate incidents on one hand and the eliding the distinction between this and hate crime with the other so that the picture of most oppressed and therefore in need of most protection is reinforced.

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PronounssheRa · 31/07/2020 12:50

I've just read my last response back and it makes sound sound like a tin foil hat wearing conspiracy theorist.

Because until you dig into this stuff, it really is difficult to comprehend that the police are acting like this and that there is, largely, silence from the media (side eyes the guardian)

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wellbehavedwomen · 31/07/2020 12:52

Happy to dig if and when that becomes necessary, @Spero. And that goes for anyone who is hit by this who has not, in fact, been hateful towards anyone/any group. Having views on women's rights is not hateful, fgs. And having clear and solid views on safeguarding kids should be the norm.

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NekoShiro · 31/07/2020 12:53

@NotBadConsidering

Someone could report NekoShiro just for posting on this board, which people claim is a “hotbed of transphobia”. Given NekoShiro is partaking in perpetuating this, by posting and using Mumsnet as a platform, many people find that offensive (some of whom monitor, waves 👋).

What do you mean monitor, you mean like screenshotting and reporting transphobic things?

So I've had a look over Google and ended up here: fullfact.org/crime/hate-incidents-arent-same-hate-crimes/

So an incident basically means someone has made a report, which the police have had to look i to as its their job, and they've found that no crime has been committed so have then just kept a log of the fact that someone made a report of feeling like they were discriminated against? And it stays on your record incase it's something that happens a lot so they can monitor future escalations of hate crime? I read one article where a police chief said they like to keep them so they can monitor if hate crimes could bubble up in areas.

So it's like if I was at work and it's the differences between me having a counseling vs me having a formal disciplinary?
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ThePurported · 31/07/2020 12:53

My favourite 'hate tweet' was - my dog will call me a Nazi for cheese.
With a picture of my dog looking sad.

It's difficult to imagine who was the victim in this particular non-crime hate incident. Does the police record say which group you were supposed to have targeted here?

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terryleather · 31/07/2020 12:55

Just looked this up and wow, if they're working to that the bar seems incredibly low to determine a hate crime

It is.

It's all based on the feelings and perceptions of the complainant. Under the current proposed Hate Crimes Bill in Scotland there is no need to prove intent or pass any "reasonable person" type threshold.

Interestingly when I looked at the impact assessment for the proposed Bill I found this...

There was some concern among stakeholders that the extension of stirring up offences may not go far enough in providing the level of protection required to the LGBTI community. The basis of this was that certain behaviours that can often lead to violence are not always threatening or abusive and therefore the offence should apply where it is ‘insulting’ as well as ‘threatening’ and ‘abusive’.

The stakeholders were the following:

Equality Network/Scottish Trans Alliance
LGBT Health and Wellbeing
LGBT Youth Scotland
Scottish Bi+ Network
Stonewall Scotland

So the usual suspects are looking to have the bar set as low as possible so "stirring up" would include "insulting"...I wonder why they were pushing for that?

As pps have already said JKR would very probably fall foul of this proposed law change with a possible 7 year jail term to look forward to.

It is utterly terrifying.

Spero Gie them laldy!!! as we say round these parts..

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bishopgiggles · 31/07/2020 12:58

Re: using real names/aliases online, is there any requirement when reporting a hate incident to have any kind of proof that the person posting it is the person being reported? If i went online as Susan Jones from Coventry and posted something racist, would another real Susan Jones from Coventry get it put on her police record?

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ThePurported · 31/07/2020 13:06

an incident basically means someone has made a report, which the police have had to look i to as its their job, and they've found that no crime has been committed so have then just kept a log of the fact that someone made a report of feeling like they were discriminated against

No, it's not about discrimination, and the 'someone' can be anyone, they don't have to be personally impacted. Which means that anyone can report Sarah's lighthearted comment about her dog, cheese and Nazis and get the police to record it as 'hate' by simply stating that they perceived 'hate' in that tweet.

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