Support our Nation today - please donate here
News

Freedom of speech to be prioritised over taking offence under draft guidelines

13 Mar 2023 2 minute read
Home Secretary Suella Braverman. Victoria Jones PA Images

Police will prioritise freedom of speech over taking offence in non-crime hate incidents if new draft guidelines issued by the Home Secretary pass Parliament.

Suella Braverman said the draft guidelines, which will go before Parliament on Monday, will prevent police “wrongly getting involved in lawful debate”.

Under the guidance, the police will only record so-called non-crime hate incidents when it is “absolutely necessary and proportionate” and not “simply because someone is offended”, the Home Office said in a release.

Personal data will only be recorded for incidents “motivated by intentional hostility” and where there is a “real risk of significant harm”.

Forefront

Ms Braverman said officers must have freedom of expression “at the forefront of their minds”.

“I have been deeply concerned about reports of the police wrongly getting involved in lawful debate in this country,” she said.

“We have been clear that, in recording so called non-crime hate incidents, officers must always have freedom of expression at the forefront of their minds.

“The new code will ensure the police are prioritising their efforts where it’s really needed and focusing on tackling serious crimes such as burglary, violent offences, rape and other sexual offences.”

Crime, policing and fire minister Chris Philp said the guidelines create a “clear threshold” that must be met for hate incidents to be recorded.

“We are committed to supporting the police to fulfil their vital role of keeping the public safe, including tackling the scourge of hate crime,” he said.

“Their focus must remain on catching dangerous criminals and bringing them to justice.

“That’s why we’re taking action to ensure a clear threshold must be met in order for incidents of this type to be recorded.”


Support our Nation today

For the price of a cup of coffee a month you can help us create an independent, not-for-profit, national news service for the people of Wales, by the people of Wales.

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
9 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
11 months ago

Home Office workers should strike until she has been removed from office. Is she trying to legalise her own behaviour here…

Llyn
Llyn
11 months ago

Rather ironic considering “free speech champion” Braverman was in the media this weekend telling all how offended she was by Gary Lineker’s comments.

Gareth Westacott
Gareth Westacott
11 months ago
Reply to  Llyn

You’re missing the point. Lots of people might be offended by what he’s said (and lots of people are), but he’s not been charged withe ‘hate speech’ (whatever that is?)

Llyn
Llyn
11 months ago

My point is that for those (like Braverman) who criticise those who are offended by comments of others, should themselves not bang on about being offended by comments of others.

Paul
Paul
11 months ago
Reply to  Llyn

Everyone has every right to bang on about how offended they are by the comments of others – that is part and parcel of free speech. What they must not have the right to do is silence those who offend them.

Mr Williams
Mr Williams
11 months ago

Protection of freedom of speech always make for good headlines.

However, I am very suspicious of (and worried about) what this would mean in practice. More hate speech? More anti-Welsh rhetoric?

I think we should be worried.

Gareth Westacott
Gareth Westacott
11 months ago

Quite right too. It’s a terrible law (because so unclearly defined). Who gets to decide what’s offensive or not, and where exactly to you draw the line?

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
11 months ago

According to Rishi that is the Home Sec’s job, as I said elsewhere this executioner gets to decide who dies…

Lib Dem YesCymru Ilfiltrator
Lib Dem YesCymru Ilfiltrator
11 months ago

More and more we see rights moved from individuals to groups. Tories feign a push back only to defend power and wealth, to gain votes. They feel fear – fighting this new progressivist cult ideology is not possible with Thatcher’s extremist, open-market ideas.

Our Supporters

All information provided to Nation.Cymru will be handled sensitively and within the boundaries of the Data Protection Act 2018.