Monday 1 August 2022 12:57 AM Recording non-crime 'hate incidents' makes people question police police chief ... trends now

Monday 1 August 2022 12:57 AM Recording non-crime 'hate incidents' makes people question police police chief ... trends now
Monday 1 August 2022 12:57 AM Recording non-crime 'hate incidents' makes people question police police chief ... trends now

Monday 1 August 2022 12:57 AM Recording non-crime 'hate incidents' makes people question police police chief ... trends now

A senior police chief has said that recording non-crime 'hate incidents' makes people lose faith in cops.

Stephen Watson of Greater Manchester Police said that officers needed to have confidence in telling the public when matters were not for the police.

He said that he was happy that the national standards body for policy had issued guidance emphasising that offence being taken should not lead to views being stigmatised.

He said that officers recording non-crime hate incidents 'caused people to question whether we know what we're doing'.

Stephen Watson of Greater Manchester Police said that officers needed to have confidence in telling the public when matters were not for the police

Stephen Watson of Greater Manchester Police said that officers needed to have confidence in telling the public when matters were not for the police

Over 120,000 people in the UK have had actions recorded by police despite not breaching a criminal threshold - with the new guidance aiming to reduce this number and free up time.

Watson did emphasise that these recordings provided police with valuable data about trends of anti-social behaviour in communities.

'In certain circumstances, there are actually first-class examples of where we've just completely got this wrong', he told the Times.

Fiona Pilkington killed herself and her disabled daughter after over a decade of bullying in 2007 and Watson cited the example as where the recording of abuse would have been beneficial.

It comes after an army veteran was arrested by police for 'causing anxiety' after retweeting a picture of a swastika made out of Pride flags on social media. 

Darren Brady, 51, slammed Hampshire Police for 'impeding his right to free speech' after he was placed into handcuffs on Friday at his home in Aldershot for sharing a meme.

Footage of the arrest was widely shared on social media and showed an officer who told Mr Brady he was being apprehended because his post had 'caused anxiety' and been reported to authorities. 

The image Mr Brady retweeted was of a swastika that had been digitally manipulated and was made out of four LGBT pride flags.

In the video, shot on a mobile phone, Mr Brady can be heard asking the three police officers: 'Why am I in cuffs?' 

One officer responds: 'It didn't have to come to this at all.'

Mr Brady replied: 'Tell us why you escalated it to this level because I don't understand.'

The officer adds: 'Someone has been caused anxiety based on your social media post. That is why you have been arrested.'

Darren Brady, 51, (pictured) slammed Hampshire Police for 'impeding his right to free speech' after he was placed into handcuffs on Saturday at his home in Aldershot for sharing a meme

Darren Brady, 51, (pictured) slammed Hampshire Police for 'impeding his right to free speech' after he was placed into handcuffs on Saturday at his home in Aldershot for sharing a meme

The image Mr Brady (pictured) retweeted was of a swastika that had been digitally manipulated and was made out of four LGBT pride flags

The image Mr Brady (pictured) retweeted was of a swastika that had been digitally manipulated and was made out of four LGBT pride flags

This is the moment army veteran Mr Brady (pictured)was arrested by Hampshire Police (pictured right) for 'causing anxiety' after retweeting a picture of a swastika made out of Pride flags

This is the moment army veteran Mr Brady (pictured)was arrested by Hampshire Police (pictured right) for 'causing anxiety' after retweeting a picture of a swastika made out of Pride flags

British army veteran Darren Brady

Harry Miller, a former police officer

Footage of the arrest was widely shared on social media. Two separate videos showed the arrest of Mr Brady (left) and Harry Miller (right) who tried to prevent the former serviceman from being detained

Harry Miller, a former police officer, was also arrested after claiming he had tried to prevent the former serviceman from being detained.

He told MailOnline: 'Hampshire Police showed a blatant disregard of the law. They approached Mr Brady and acted as summary judge, jury and executioner - but didn't know what offence he'd actually committed. They said he was being arrested for causing anxiety, which is utterly ridiculous!

'Mr Brady is a British Army Veteran and they were trying to extort him for money by making him pay around £80 for educational course so he could downgrade from a crime to a non-crime, which would still show up in a basic Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check.

'They thought they could get away with it. It was the world's worst shakedown.'

Commenting on the video circulating on Twitter, Mr Miller wrote: 'I'd been locked up by this time and missed this exchange. I'm speechless.'

Mr Miller, who in December won a Court of Appeal challenge over police guidance on 'hate incidents', said police visited the man 10 days earlier and has informed him that he could take the option of attending an £80 education course to avoid being arrested and possibly charged with a criminal offence.

The veteran said he needed time to mull it over, before the officers agreed to return at a future date.

Writing on Twitter on Sunday, Mr Brady told his followers: 'It's nice to be able to enjoy a Sunday morning in peace without being harassed by Hampshire Police trying to extort money from me, or have me 're-educated' for sharing a meme on the Internet.'

Hampshire Police

Hampshire Police

In a statement, Hampshire Police said: 'Officers felt it was necessary to arrest a man at the scene so they could interview him in relation to the alleged offence'

Donna Jones, Tory police and crime commissioner for Hampshire, slammed the county's police force on Friday

Donna Jones, Tory police and crime commissioner for Hampshire, slammed the county's police force on Friday

Full statement from crime commissioner criticising her own police force 

PCC Donna Jones: 'I am aware of the video published on Twitter which shows the arrest of two men in Hampshire yesterday, one for malicious communications and one for obstruction of a police officer.

'I have taken this issue up with the Constabulary today and have been advised officers made the arrests following a complaint from a member of the public of an alleged hate crime.

'It follows a post on social media of Progress Pride flags in the shape of a Swastika.

'I am concerned about both the proportionality and necessity of the police's response to this incident. When incidents on social media receive not one but two visits from police officers, but burglaries and non-domestic break-ins don't always get a police response, something is wrong.

'As Police Commissioner, I am committed to ensuring Hampshire Constabulary serves the public as the majority of people would expect. It appears on this occasion this has not happened.

'This incident has highlighted a really topical issue which Hampshire Constabulary and other police forces need to learn from. In order to support this I will be writing to the College of Policing to make them aware of this

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