‘Being Offensive Is Part and Parcel of Freedom,’ Says Former Policeman Tackling ‘Woke’ Authorities

‘Being Offensive Is Part and Parcel of Freedom,’ Says Former Policeman Tackling ‘Woke’ Authorities
Former police officer Harry Miller speaks to the media outside the Royal Courts of Justice in London on Dec. 20, 2021. (Dominic Lipinski/PA)
Owen Evans

Fresh from a successful legal challenge against a national policy that would have seen police forces record gender-critical views as non-crime “hate incidents,” former police officer Harry Miller is taking on the forces once again.

His organisation Fair Cop’s latest case involves a member of the public being threatened with a public order offence over an edited image that was shared on Facebook. The offence usually refers to the use of or threat of violence or harassment towards someone else in a public place.

“I would say it surprises me but I am not surprised. The police are so poorly educated, they’ve been wrongly educated, which is how we got the ridiculous situation,” Miller told The Epoch Times.

Fair Cop was set up in response to what it calls “Big Brother” overreach of various police forces and other authorities in England.

‘Being Offensive Is an Offence’

Miller highlighted that last year in Merseyside, northwest England, police pulled a 10-foot-wide ad through a car park that had the words “being offensive is an offence” on it. Police eventually apologised after widespread criticism.

“If you look at the picture closely, there was an inspector by it. You’d expect ignorance from a brand new police officer, you wouldn’t expect it from someone of rank,” said Miller.

“So being offensive is not an offence. In fact, being offensive is part and parcel of freedom, because any freedom that does not allow offence is none at all,” he added.

Non-Crime Hate Incident

Miller’s own journey started in 2019 when he brought judicial review proceedings against the National College and the Humberside Police after he was contacted by the police at work for reposting a limerick that was critical of transgender people.

No crime had been committed, but Humberside Police still recorded Miller’s post as a non-crime hate incident. Miller then won a challenge to Humberside Police’s actions at the High Court, but his challenge to the guidance itself was dismissed, with the judge finding that it “serves legitimate purposes and is not disproportionate.”

Miller’s landmark case in December 2021 brought by the Court of Appeal ruled that the recording of “non-crime hate incidents” is an unlawful interference with freedom of expression and contrary to Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights. Judges added that “knowledge that such matters are being recorded and stored in a police database is likely to have a serious chilling effect on public debate.”

“What will happen now I imagine will be that the College of Policing will have to amend its guidance and that will filter down through the forces,“ said Miller. ”Nevertheless, it’s not down to the College of Policing to make the police obey the law. It is the unquestionable law that being offensive is not an offence.”

“They are not only stepping outside their authority, but they are stepping outside of the boundary of the law because derogatory speech falls under the heading of critical or offensive speech. And our courtrooms show that being critical or derogatory is not criminal,” he added.

He claimed that some forces don’t mind derogatory speech as long as “it’s facing the right direction.”

PABEST Police forensic officers in Hurst Walk in Birmingham, UK, on Sept. 6, 2020. (Jacob King/PA)
PABEST Police forensic officers in Hurst Walk in Birmingham, UK, on Sept. 6, 2020. (Jacob King/PA)

Miller said that gender-critical women should even be wary of contacting the police in some cases. He said one woman was threatened online with a pipe bomb by a transgender activist, but when she contacted the police, they asked her what she had done to prompt the threat.

“We got here because Stonewall [the LGBTQ rights charity] has managed to convince the police that any form of criticism of trans ideology is akin to racism. That’s how we got here,“ he said. ”Being black is an objective fact, being trans is not, it requires belief in trans ideology so they are not remotely the same.”

He said that “woke” influences operate at different levels in different police forces.

For example, North Yorkshire Police hosted a £15,000 ($20,000) intersectionality conference where officers were taught about “privilege.”

Surrey Police

Miller said that he is in contact with Surrey Police over the Facebook image case.

“The person in question is refusing a voluntary interview and there has been no arrest. It’s clear that threats such as these are meant to intimidate,” said Miller.

The charges were subsequently dropped by Surrey Police, with the force saying in an emailed statement: “Officers visited an address in Bagshot on 3rd December 2021 in connection with an alleged public order offence. This related to the sharing of a photograph on Facebook. As part of enquiries, a man was invited to attend a voluntary interview but declined. The matter was later reviewed to assess the evidence and it was determined that further action would not be proportionate. The complainant has been informed of this decision.”

Miller said: “Had we not stepped in, they would have harassed that man. The vast majority of people would do precisely what the police asked them. The police are abusing their position as police officers and are taking advantage of the people’s ignorance in order to intimidate people with who they don’t agree with.”

Owen Evans is a UK-based journalist covering a wide range of national stories, with a particular interest in civil liberties and free speech.
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