Free Speech Union Hails Court of Appeal Victory on Recording Non-Crime Hate Incidents

The Court of Appeal has just ruled a landmark judgement that the recording of non-crime hate incidents is an unlawful interference with freedom of expression. The court explicitly says that such matters being recorded and stored in police databases is likely to have a serious “chilling effect” on public debate. Astonishing: some common sense…

The case was sparked by ex-police officer Harry Miller receiving complaints over allegedly “transphobic” tweets, leading to a visit by a Humberside police officer in January 2019 who recorded it as a “hate incident”. While the High Court last year ruled that the police force’s actions were a “disproportionate interference” with Miller’s right to freedom of expression, his challenge to the College of Police’s guidance was dismissed, with the court finding it “serves legitimate purposes and is not disproportionate”.

Today’s victory should be welcome to all who believe in the right to free speech both on and offline. Welcoming the judgment, Toby Young said:

“The Free Speech Union is proud to have played a part in winning this landmark victory, but the lion’s share of the credit must go to Harry Miller. Thanks to his courage and tenacity, we can all rest a little easier in our beds tonight, knowing the police are not about to knock on our doors because we’ve made an inappropriate joke on Twitter. They should be policing our streets, not our tweets.”

Merry Christmas one and all…

mdi-timer 20 December 2021 @ 11:17 20 Dec 2021 @ 11:17 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments