News

Exclusive: Police forces threatened with legal action over links to Stonewall

Police forces have been threatened with legal action over their links to Stonewall, amid concerns the controversial charity’s transgender training is impacting their impartiality.

Campaigners [Harry Miller of Fair Cop] have written to chief constables warning they will begin legal proceedings against any force that remains part of the Stonewall Diversity Champions scheme beyond a “period of consideration”.

Read more

The canary in the coal mine

The UK is at a dangerous junction when it comes to free speech

The loss of our freedom to think and express ourselves is much more than just a cold hard fact. It is a sinking feeling, a knot in the throat, as you see a person you care about unfairly maligned and persecuted by zealots. It is distrust around a dinner table, and the anxiety that you might be next. The friend who is forced to choose between their career and their conscience. The sister who is abused because others were too afraid to speak out. It is colleagues betraying each other to save their own skins when the mob comes knocking. It is the innocent person hung, drawn and quartered in the public square for uttering something utterly benign.

Read article: The canary in the coal mine | Emma Webb | The Critic Magazine

Read more

Fair Cop’s case in court

It looks like the College of Policing has strayed far from its path; let’s hope the Court of Appeal can set it back in the right direction

What a difference a year makes. In February 2020 the courtroom was packed at the RCJ to hear Knowles J hand down his judgment in Miller v College of Policing.

Miller had been reported and recorded under the College of Policing’s Hate Crimes Operational Guidance (HCOG) in 2019 as a “hate incident” for some anodyne tweeting about issues of sex and gender. These tweets had been brought to the attention of “Mrs B” some hundreds of miles away, allegedly provoking great upset and offence. She complained and, following the guidance, Humberside felt compelled to visit Miller at his place of work to “check his thinking”. It was suggested that if he didn’t mend his tweeting ways, he might be arrested.

Read article: Fair Cop’s case in court | Sarah Phillimore | The Critic Magazine

Read more

If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken…

…Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools

Sarah Phillimore writes of her experiences of being branded an ‘anti-Semite’ and a ‘transphobe’, the bizarre behaviour of Twitter, her attempts to seek legal remedy, and her concerns about the corrosive consequences of all this for public debate on matters of great importance, as well as the impact on women’s physical safety.

Fair comment

I have reasonable grounds to believe that everything I say in this post is true and fair comment on matters of public interest. If Mr Paisley and Ms Blackman disagree they may of course take me to court. I welcome further investigation of all these matters on the most public stage possible. They are matters of vital importance to the continuing health of our society and our democracy.

Suspended by Twitter – but for what?

On 25th January 2021 I was suspended permanently from Twitter for this:

“I have a pretty good idea I know exactly who Frank is. One of his group was convicted for harassing me. I just have to be patient and they will author their own misfortune soon enough.”

Before, I received two 12 hour suspensions for similarly innocuous comments.

Jan 14th: “O I am sure he will. I usually get at least one amusing complaint every few months”

Jan 15th: ”You Whore of Babylon! Put those tempting limbs away! Lest I am overcome. #wheresmysandwich”.

Twitter emailed me on January 28th 2021 — they reviewed my suspension, had made a mistake and my account would be restored. But it wasn’t.

A few days later Twitter asserted I was suspended for attempting to evade permanent suspension. This made no sense. I appealed again. On 17th February Twitter said @SVPhillimore would remain suspended for violation of rules against setting up multiple accounts for abusive purposes. I didn’t understand this either. Twitter had confirmed @SVPhillimore had been wrongly suspended, and a second account @SarahPhillimor2 had been set up prior to suspension in December 2020 and was dormant and not abusive. I raised further polite query. Twitter replied to say @SVPhillimore would not be restored due to ‘multiple breaches’ and I must not contact them again. On 23rd February Twitter then restored both accounts without any further communication to me or my solicitors, who had written to them on February 22nd.

It is thus

Read more

Complaint against @LGBTpoliceuk

We are sharing with you a complaint to the Independent Office for Police Conduct made by one of our followers to the LGBT police association, in response to concerning publications by their Twitter account that suggested that they were reporting members of the public who were leaving unsupportive comments on their Twitter feed.

This organisation appears to be unaccountable and has not responded, so far as we know, to any complaints or question about their behaviour.

We hope other people will complain. Please let us know what the outcome is. We think this is unacceptable behaviour from any organisation that promotes itself as connected with the police.

Some details omitted for clarity and brevity and to protect the personal details of the complainant.

Section 3 – Complaint details

*Which police force/organisation is your complaint about?

lgbt.police.uk Twitter account @LGBTpoliceuk

*What would you like to happen as a result of your complaint?

That any accounts on social media be maintained by named persons with accountability for content, that they be rigorously monitored for factual accuracy and lawful content. That thorough vetting procedures for social media employment appointments be undertaken and strict procedures be created for said appointees, to include disciplinary actions for failure to meet standards. That these standards should be made available for public scrutiny.

That the Twitter account @LGBTpoliceuk in particular be suspended pending investigation of any persons involved.

An acknowledgement that the public have lost confidence in the police to maintain standards of professional behaviour and by extension the agreement that the philosophy of “policing by common consent” has been severely damaged. That a commitment will be made to undertake thorough investigations of the undue influence of Stonewall and Stonewall’s values in often biased or incorrect interpretation of the law in police policies, management and workplace culture.

This influence has clearly pervaded and resulted in inaccurate and unlawful content on social media output, and I further request that these investigations be extended to cover all LGBTQ social media accounts affiliated/associated with the police.

Do you believe the incident you are complaining about involved discrimination? Discrimination refers to being treated differently because of who you are or because you possess certain characteristics. Please add an ‘X’ next to your answer.

X Yes

If you believe discrimination was involved in the incident you are complaining about, please mark one or more of the characteristics involved with an

Read more

“Transphobic tweets” campaigner takes police harassment case to Court of Appeal

Harry Miller challenges College of Policing over its hate crime guidance following High Court victory against Humberside Police

18 February 2021 – Free speech campaigner Harry Miller is taking his battle against police harassment to the Court of Appeal, which will hear his case on 8th to 10th March.

In February 2020, Miller won a landmark ruling against Humberside Police in the High Court after the force recorded a “non-crime hate incident” (NCHI) against him for tweeting about transgender issues. In his judgement, Mr Justice Knowles said that Miller’s tweets were “not even in the foothills of harassment” and compared Humberside Police’s actions to the Cheka, Stasi and Gestapo.

Knowles however found in favour of the College of Policing, ruling that its Hate Crime Operational Guidance (HCOG) was lawful. Miller is now appealing this element of the judgement on the basis that HCOG is not compatible with existing legislation, including the Equality Act and the European Convention on Human Rights.

Miller’s High Court battle shone a light on the secretive world of “thought policing” in the UK, in particular the practice of recording NCHIs. Under HCOG, the police are required to record every accusation as a hate incident without the need for investigation. Following the High Court judgement, journalists discovered that over 120,000 NCHIs had been recorded in just five years, yet could not identify a single crime that this had prevented.

Last summer the College of Police reviewed and amended HCOG. Fair Cop, the organisation founded by Miller and others concerned at the chilling effect exerted by the police on free speech, detailed the deficiencies of the new Guidance in November.

“The College of Policing is making up the rules as it goes along, with no regard for — and indeed, in defiance of — the law of the land,” said Harry Miller. “My challenge to the College is simple: respect the law, follow the law, and do not criminalise people for expressing their opinions within the law.

“The existing Guidance should appal anyone who cares about free speech,” continued Miller. “By defining ‘hatred’ to include dislike, resentment and unfriendliness, it makes criminals of a huge swathe of the population who engage in robust, lawful debate. And the public agrees. Although this action has cost me a significant sum of money, I have been supported by thousands of donations to the tune of

Read more

Hate speech records are having ‘chilling effect’ on free speech

Allegations of hate speech made against 120,000 people have been logged by police, prompting criticism that they have diverted attention from forces tackling other priorities, such as violent crime.

Campaigners added that logging “non-crime hate incidents”, even after police had decided that what had been said or posted online had broken no laws, had a “chilling effect” on free speech.

In response to a Freedom of Information (FoI) request, none of the 43 police forces in England and Wales could cite any crime that had been prevented and 20 said that they did not have a system to monitor the effectiveness of recording the claims.

Read article: Hate speech records are having ‘chilling effect’ on free speech

Read more
+