High Court review for College of Policing guidance on hate crime

Police guidance on “hate incidents” is to be challenged in the High Court by a former officer who tweeted an allegedly transphobic limerick.

The case will be heard in November after the man was given approval yesterday to make his challenge.

Harry Miller, who was a constable in the 1990s, says that guidance to forces in England and Wales from the College of Policing results in a “chilling of free speech”. He claims that officers from his old force, Humberside police, warned him that a reference in a tweet to Jenni Murray, the Woman’s Hour presenter, could be transphobic.

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Tweet investigation man sets up ‘freedom of speech’ group

A man from Lincolnshire has set up a campaign group which he says is aimed at protecting freedom of speech.

Harry Miller was spoken to by Humberside Police after he re-tweeted a poem about transgender women which some people found offensive.

Mr Miller, who is a former police officer, was not arrested or charged with anything – and has complained that his freedom of expression was being supressed.

At the time, he said he was “utterly shocked” to be questioned by a police constable.

“This is not about being anti-trans. This is all about telling the police to respect the law. The European Convention of Human Rights says we are able to engage in lawful political discussion without any interference whatsoever. And yet, the police have sought to shut me up and shut me down.”

Harry Miller

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New UK lobby group calls for change to police rules over trans comments

A comedian and a former policeman reprimanded by the police for making public comments on transgender issues have backed a new lobby group set up to push for police guidelines to be changed.

Fair Cop, launched this week, argued that British police are misusing hate crime laws to “harass” those who question whether trans women should be able to identify as women and access female-only spaces, by saying any complaints had to be recorded.

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Police are criminalising opinions, say campaigners

People warned by the police over comments they made about transgender issues are launching a pressure group and legal action next week, challenging “Big Brother interference” with their free speech rights.

The Fair Cop campaign is headed by Harry Miller, 54, from Lincolnshire, who was visited at work in January by Humberside police for retweeting a limerick that said trans women had silicone breasts. The force admitted there was no crime, but described it as a “hate incident” and said it would be monitoring Miller’s and his wife’s social media accounts.

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