Do we have a “right to be offended”?: Landmark legal challenge by Lincoln ex-officer

According to a High Court judge, the answer is…………………….no.

Mr Justice Knowles made his decision on this clear on the initial day of the landmark legal challenge to police force guidelines on recording ‘non-crime hate incidents’.

Harry Miller, 53, from Lincoln is challenging Hate Crime Operational Guidance (HCOG) from the College of Policing who train all officers. HCOG states that any hateful comments must be recorded, even if there is no actual evidence to identify or support the ‘hate’ and no evidence to support if any hate took place.

But Mr Miller challenges this HCOG rule, under the claim that it infringes his right to freedom of expression.

The challenge comes after married father of four, Mr Miller, was subject to investigation by Humberside Police following a Twitter user made a complaint that he shared a ‘transphobic’ rhyme. Even though no crime was committed by Mr Miller, the fact he shared the verse on the internet was recorded as a ‘hate incident’.

Should a law-abiding citizen have a hate incident on a crime report recorded against them when there was no hate or crime committed?

The review into the HCOG continues and Mr Justice Knowles will make his decision and rule on whether the rules are unlawful or not.

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