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Top Cop Slams Politicised ‘Hate Crime’ Obsession, Demands Focus on Real Crime

European Council
PAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty
LIAM DEACON

One of the UK’s most senior police officers has slammed the prioritisation of “hate crimes,” calling for officers to solve more burglaries and violent attacks by focusing on “core policing.”

National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) Chair Sara Thornton CBE also said she did not want to see “misogyny” and offensive comments about women specified in law as hate crimes.

She implied political pressure was put on police to record “hate incidents” that do not qualify as crimes when resources are stretched and some violent crimes are rising to record levels.

She said “investigating gender-based hate crime… cannot be a priority for a service that is overstretched” and that “core policing” has not “received enough attention in recent years.”

The statement comes on the same day the government seeks to drive up hate crime reporting further by launching a “new nationwide hate crime campaign aimed at increasing awareness and understanding of what constitutes a hate crime.”

Speaking at the NPCC nation annual conference, Ms Thornton said: “We do really need to refocus on core policing. The public expects an effective response to organised crime, to terrorism, to the focus on the venerable.

“But, they also expect the basics: responding to emergencies, investigating and solving crimes, and neighbourhood policing.

“It is this core policing that is seriously stretched – This is surely part of the police covenant with the public.

“We are, however, asked to provide more and more bespoke services that are all desirable. But the simple fact is, there are too many desirable and deserving issues.

“For example, treating misogyny as a ‘hate crime’ is a concern for some well-organised campaigning organisations.”

Some police forces began treating “misogyny” and offending women as hate incidents back in 2016 and London’s Metropolitan force revealed last year they are considering following suit.

Ms Thornton appeared to suggest that “well organised” groups and some officers wanted “non-crime” incidents recorded for political reasons and to pressure the government.

Breitbart London has reported that UK forces are urging people to report “non-crime hate incidents” and “offensive” online comments to “re-emphasises the need” for officers to “tackle hate.”

An investigation by this website also found that “dislike” and “unfriendliness” are considered hate incidents by many forces and the Crown Prosecution Service has said “no evidence” is needed to report a hate incident.

Ms Thornton continued: “In July, chiefs debated whether we should record such allegations, even when no crime has been committed.

“It was argued that this information might be useful to highlight the issue, send a message about acceptable standards of behaviour, or put pressure on government.

“But we just don’t have the resources to do everything that is desirable and deserving.

“I want us to solve more burglaries and bear down on violence before we make records of incidents that are not crimes.

“And I hope the Law Commission’s review on ‘hate crime’ takes account of the pressure on forces before suggesting that the law is changed.”

Last month, the government asked the Law Commission, an independent body that reviews laws, to “consider if there should be additional protected characteristics,” such as “misogyny and age” to be targeted has hate crimes.

While the number of hate incidents reported to and recorded by police has been rising to record levels, CPS figures from last year show the number being prosecuted successfully has been falling.

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