Following the Reverend David Robertson’s excellent example, along with at least one other person so far, I have reported to Police Scotland a hate crime committed by Police Scotland itself. I used the online form that is here. I encourage you all to do the same, even if you don’t live in Scotland. (Read on to find out why you don’t have to live in Scotland to report the crime.)
The hate crime concerned is the printing and display of the poster depicted. The victims of the hate crime are the people of faith against whom this intimidating, threatening, offensive, stereotyping, alarming and distressing hate-speech poster incites the reader to religious hatred.
I actually reported the poster twice, because the online form’s design compelled this: once in my capacity as a witness of the crime, and a second time in my capacity as a victim of the same crime. (I am both.)
THIS IS WHAT I WROTE …
1 – Hatred motivation
Religion or Belief
2 – Victim, Witness or 3rd Party Report
I made two reports, one as witness, one as victim myself.
3 – Victim Details
In the case of the report as a witness, the victim is any person of faith offended. If you report the crime as a victim, you are the victim.
4 – Incident Details
Time and date of incident:
Ubiquitous. I am reporting hate speech used in a public sector poster campaign. I’d have to request information under the Freedom of Information Act in order to discover all the locations at which the offensive poster is displayed.
Details of incident What actually happened?
A publicly-displayed poster, apparently published jointly by Police Scotland, contains unmistakeable hate speech which is directed against all members of any faith community, including my own (Christian) faith community.
The poster says,
you can’t spread your religious hate here. End of sermon.
Hate crime. Report it to stop it.
The poster thus insinuates that we who are “religious” are “bigots” for proselytising. It characterises the Christian gospel (and any other religious creed for that matter) as “hate”. The poster is an attempt to intimidate people of faith into believing that the police have the power to silence us, if we dare seek to share our faith (referred to as our “hate”) with others, for example by preaching, anywhere in Scotland.
The offensive poster, which is itself an undisguised incitement to hatred of religious people, and is therefore itself a hate crime, bears the logo of Police Scotland. The poster not only accuses preachers of the gospel of spreading “hate”, it also implies that such preaching is a criminal offence. (Is it?)
The poster seems to be calculated to make Scots feel intimidated who have a religious belief they might wish to spread. It makes potential visitors to Scotland wary of setting foot in so intolerant a country of the United Kingdom. It will inevitably make people of faith feel unwelcome in Scotland, even if they were born there.
The publicity of Police Scotland’s hate campaign and hence of the offence it causes is worldwide, not local to Scotland.
The Police Scotland anti-faith hate campaign has made Police Scotland a laughing stock. This ridicule has led to this police crusade against all religion receiving much publicity on the internet, which is how I learnt about it, and felt intimidated and offended and alarmed by it.
Many will react merely by holding Police Scotland up to ridicule. However, others, like myself, who become aware of the sinister anti-faith poster campaign by a police service in what used to thought of as a liberal democracy, will be as alarmed as I am. Those alarmed will include even some of those who, like me, enjoy the safety of distance from Scotland. The alarmed will include those who think it unsafe to stop at laughing at the police, assuming complacently that this is only a momentary aberration on the part of Police Scotland, rather than the harbinger of worse even faith-policing yet to come, across the United Kingdom. It will cause alarm to those in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, who (like me) are shocked and distressed at the dangerous precedent this sets.
I am therefore reporting those of Police Scotland responsible for the hate crime of publishing this hate-speech poster, to Police Scotland. I can do no other.
6 – Offenders Details
The offender is corporate: It is Police Scotland itself.
The reference numbers of my two crime reports are 10042018-155152 (witness) and 10042018-160035 (victim).
Please follow this blog if you wish to be informed as to how Police Scotland responds in due course. If you report this poster yourself, or any other aspect of the current faith-policing exercise, please feel free to comment here, quoting what you say in your own complaint. I intend to ask for figures eventually, under the Freedom of Information Act, indicating how many reports of hate crime have been made to Police Scotland, against Police Scotland.
There is a petition to sign here, as well as reporting the police’s own hate crime yourself, if you have the courage.
Warning: If you use the online report-a-hate-crime form yourself, please save a copy of what you say before you click “submit report”! The automatic email acknowledgment doesn’t remind you of what you wrote as you might expect. Nor does it quote the report number that is shown on the screen after you submit your report.