The “right to be offended” does not exist, a judge has said, as the High Court hears that British police forces are recording hate incidents even if there is no evidence that they took place.
Mr Justice Knowles made the remark on the first day of a landmark legal challenge against guidelines issued to police forces across the country on how to record “non-crime hate incidents”.
The College of Policing, the professional body which delivers training for all officers in England and Wales, issued their Hate Crime Operational Guidance (HCOG) in 2014, which states that a comment reported as hateful by a victim must be recorded “irrespective of whether there is any evidence to identify the hate element”.
Mr Justice Knowles expressed surprise at the rule, asking the court: “That doesn’t make sense to me. How can it be a hate incident if there is no evidence of the hate element?”
He added: “We live in a pluralistic society where none of us have a right to be offended by something that they hear.
Read article: ‘Right to be offended’ does not exist, judge says as court hears police record hate incidents even if there is no evidence