In an apparent perversion of the cause of justice, Merseyside Police in has received stinging criticism for displaying a bizarre banner outside a supermarket claiming “Being offensive is an offence.”
The sign, which police officers proudly posed in front of for social media, also reads “Merseyside Police stand with and support the LGBTQ+ community, we will not tolerate hate crime on any level,” with the Merseyside Police crest displayed on a giant pride flag.
Merseyside Police are undertaking a big public relations drive for LGBTQ month.
A dedicated page on the website states: “It’s important everyone understands the legacy of discrimination and abuse faced by the LGTB+ community…
“Throughout the month, we will be sharing stories from some of our LGBT+ network members and allies to support learning and to inspire and empower others.
However, the act of “being offensive” is not an offence under UK law, contrary to the sign’s claim. As might be expected of an organisation enforcing the law, Merseyside Police is aware of this fact.
This morning, the force posted a humiliating climbdown from the weekend’s antics on its Twitter account saying, “We would like to clarify that ‘being offensive’ is not an offence.”
Superintendent Martin Earl added: “A message on an advan and social media this weekend by the Local Policing Team on the Wirral to encourage people to report hate crime, although well intentioned, was incorrect and we apologise for any confusion this may have caused.
“Hate crime is an offence and will not be tolerated. Hate crime can come in various guises that can include assault, criminal damage and verbal and written online abuse.”
The statement goes onto provide helpful information for people who may have found themselves offended.
The Reclaim Party, led by Lawrence Fox, has called on the UK Home Office to investigate the sign.
“Offensive: causing someone to feel resentful, upset, or annoyed,” tweeted the newly minted party.
“’If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people things they do not want to hear’ George Orwell.”
Last week it was reported UK police forces had logged 120,000 “non-hate crime incidents”.
“These reports have allowed the police to become weaponised by woke activists who seek to attack and shut people up if they dare to express any views that they do not agree with,” former police officer Harry Miller, who co-founded the Fair Cop campaign group, told the Mail on Sunday.
Miller added that the logs “do not appear to have any usefulness as a crime prevention tool.”
Senior Police officers have defended the practice of logging so-called “hate crime” reports, claiming it helps them to “‘measure tensions effectively and to prevent serious hostility and violence.”
Chairman of the Common Sense Group, Sir John Hayes had his say on the practice of logging hate crime reports. Hayes said: “There is a real threat in our society of the development of a thought police where only certain views are permitted and all else is at best regarded as unacceptable and at worst is deemed illegal.”
A poll by Sevanta ComRes earlier this month showed over half of Brits believe free speech is under threat.