We need to talk about Pink News

No one should take Pink News seriously. But when it bullies people with baseless and defamatory allegations, Fair Cop cannot stay silent.

It’s easy to mock Pink News but it’s dangerous to dismiss it. This is a blog with well over six million monthly unique visitors, so what it lacks in intellectual clout it more than makes up for in readership.

So when PN turns its guns — and its followers — against a blameless individual, it’s not enough to sit back and treat it with our usual mixture of wry amusement, pity and contempt.

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The Scottish Hate Crime Bill

Fair Cop considers the proposed new Scottish criminal offence of ‘stirring up hatred’ and how this can be reconciled with freedom of speech and the judgment in Miller v College of Policing

On April 24th, Humza Yousaf, an SNP politician and Cabinet Secretary for Justice, published the Scottish Government’s new Hate Crime Bill.

This emerged after Lord Bracadale was asked to review the state of Scotland’s hate crime law. He reported in May 2018, noting that the current law was a mess, scattered over a variety of different bits of legislation and treating different characteristics in different ways.

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Who watches the watchdogs?

The Equality and Human Rights Commission is a non-departmental public body, established by the Equality Act of 2006, taking over from the Commission for Racial Equality, the Equal Opportunities Commission and the Disability Rights Commission. It is responsible for the promotion and enforcement of laws preventing discrimination and has a general duty to foster mutual respect between communities. There are nine protected characteristics in the Equality Act 2010 – age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation. The EHRC has asked government departments collecting statistics to do so with reference to each.

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More equal than others?

Fair Cop asks why the police appear to favour LGBT above other marginalised groups.

The Police have been vocal and visible in their support of the LGBT community. But same-sex attraction and ‘transgender’ are only two of the monitored hate crime strands. People can also be victims of a hate crime based on their race, religion and disability.

Hate crime is a serious issue, but why do police forces spend so much of their overstretched resources supporting and promoting LGBT+ organisations — including trans lobby groups — while paying scant attention to other protected groups?

In Fair Cop’s latest letter to chief constables Sarah Phillimore, who is herself disabled, asks why police forces treat some ‘strands’ as more equal than others; and she officially enquires how much time and money they devote to each protected group.

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