I reported Police Scotland’s hate crime a week ago.
This post brings you up-to-date with the correspondence I’ve had with the police since reporting the hate crime.
The hate crime I reported was the display of this poster :-
which says …
you can’t spread your religious hate here. End of sermon.
Hate crime. Report it to stop it.
The police’s first response to my hate crime report was as follows:
Subject: Scottish Government hate crime awareness campaign [OFFICIAL] Date: Fri, 5 Oct 2018 14:39:45 +0000 From: SCD DIVERSITYUNIT <DiversityUnit@scotland.pnn.police.uk> To: John_W_Allman@hotmail.com <John_W_Allman@hotmail.com>
Thank you for your correspondence dated 4th October 2018, regarding the current Scottish Government hate crime awareness campaign.
The campaign, ‘Hate has no home in Scotland’ was launched by the Scottish Government on 24 September 2018 and is scheduled to continue until the end of October 2018. The campaign aims to encourage those who have been victims or witnesses of hate crimes, to speak out and report it.
Hate crime is a priority for Police Scotland and we recognise the personal impact it can have on individuals, their families and the wider community. We are aware however that such incidents are often under-reported and we continue to work with key stakeholders and partners to raise awareness and improve public confidence to report. As such, Police Scotland supports the ongoing Scottish Government campaign.
The concerns highlighted in your correspondence regarding the campaign material are acknowledged and we will ensure that the Connected Communities Unit within the Scottish Government are informed of your comments. None of your personal details will be passed to the Scottish Government, therefore should you require any further information or wish to raise the matter directly, please make contact by emailing, One_Scotland_Mailbox@scotland.gsi.gov.uk
I responded immediately:
I reported a crime, rather than “highlighting concerns”, whatever that means. What happens next? I’d like at least to know that the crime I witnessed, and the crime against me, are not going to be no-crimed, and that they will be reflected in the crime statistics. How do the police usually deal with deadly serious reports of actual crimes that are committed by the police themselves? Do you need me also to make a complaint separately, or is that implicit in a report of a hate crime committed by the police force itself?
I am deadly serious about this. Please do not try to fob me off. The logo of Police Scotland is on the poster that incited hatred of religious people in general, and caused me distress, to feel threatened and intimidated and alarmed, just seeing an image of the offending poster on the internet. The past week’s news ought to have educated the world of the need to believe victims.
Police Scotland next wrote:
Subject: Scottish Government Hate Crime Awareness Campaign [OFFICIAL] Date: Thu, 11 Oct 2018 15:23:37 +0000 From: SCD DIVERSITYUNIT <DiversityUnit@scotland.pnn.police.uk> To: John_W_Allman@hotmail.com <John_W_Allman@hotmail.com>
I write with reference to your initial correspondence dated 4th October 2018 and subsequent email dated 7th October 2018, regarding the current Scottish Government hate crime awareness campaign.
I thank you for your comments on this subject and re-iterate that the aim of the campaign material was, and continues to be, to raise awareness of hate crime and encourage reporting.
The creative concept documents a series of letters addressed to perpetrators of hate crime and describes the experience of victims, stating that ‘your hate has no home here’. The letters are signed ‘Yours, Scotland’, to encourage those who read it to report hate crime if they witness it, thereby helping to create better community cohesion.
The creative concept and stakeholder engagement in respect of it was delivered and conducted by Scottish Government. We consider it relevant therefore to inform them of any feedback or concerns we receive, in order to contribute to both the overall evaluation and the planning of any future campaigns. The Scottish Government email address has been provided, to encourage any views to be raised directly with them.
As you may be aware, the following definitions are used by Police Scotland in relation to hate crimes and incidents.
- A hate crime is any crime which is perceived by the victim or any other person, to be motivated (wholly or partly) by malice and ill-will towards a social group.
- A hate incident is any incident which is perceived by the victim or any other person, to be motivated (wholly or partly) by malice and ill-will towards a social group but which does not constitute a criminal offence (non-crime incident).
Police Scotland has assessed the circumstances you raise. The motivation of the Scottish Government campaign is not based on malice or ill will towards any social group, therefore the circumstances will not be recorded as hate related. Details of your correspondence however have been recorded and the content passed to Scottish Government, Connected Communities Unit.
No further action will be taken in respect of this matter.
I replied to that straight away:
Subject: Re: Scottish Government Hate Crime Awareness Campaign [OFFICIAL] Date: Thu, 11 Oct 2018 20:11:01 +0100 From: John Allman <John_W_Allman@hotmail.com> To: SCD DIVERSITYUNIT <DiversityUnit@scotland.pnn.police.uk>
Dear Chief Superintendent McKenzie
You have told me that a hate crime and a hate incident alike are defined in part by the presence of the fact that the crime or incident is “perceived by the victim or any other person, to be motivated (wholly or partly) by malice and ill-will towards a social group”.
I have already made it clear that I perceive the poster about which I complained as being motivated at least in part by malice and ill-will towards a social group to which I belong, namely people who are religious. The incident or crime consisting of the display of the hateful poster therefore meets the said criterion. I have told you that I believe it to be hate crime, rather than a mere hate incident, because it incites hatred of religious people as well as being perceived by religious people to be motivated by malice and ill-will towards us as a social group.
You have claimed that the motivation of the Scottish Government campaign is not based on malice or ill-will. I am glad to hear that. However, that is not the correct test, in order to inform your decisions. The correct test is, as you have told me, motivation as perceived by the victim or any other person, not as claimed by the offender.
You have communicated to me a decision that, “the circumstances will not be recorded as hate-related” and that “No further action will be taken” in response to my reports of the hate crime or (at least) hate incident. (The “NFA decision”.)
I am offering you the opportunity to give me a better-advised response, before I escalate this matter to the stage of doing one or more of the following, or otherwise, after taking legal advice:
1) making a complaint to the police about the display of the poster, and another about the handling of my report of this poster’s display as a hate crime
2) sending you a formal Letter Before Action pursuant to the Pre-action Protocol for Judicial Review (judicial review of your NFA decision, that is)
3) absent an assurance that the offending poster will no longer be displayed, seeking an injunction under the Protection From Harassment Act, compelling the police to stop displaying the poster, and possible seeking damages.
Please take this correspondence seriously. It would be wrong of you to incur the cost to the public of litigation if the dispute between us can be settled amicably by negotiation. I am not attacking you. The police attacked us, who are people of religion. I am merely defending myself, and the social group to which I belong.
[Edited] I have, since publishing this page, received a holding response:
Subject: RE: Scottish Government Hate Crime Awareness Campaign [OFFICIAL] Date: Fri, 12 Oct 2018 13:43:07 +0000 From: SCD DIVERSITYUNIT <DiversityUnit@scotland.pnn.police.uk> To: John Allman <John_W_Allman@hotmail.com>
I acknowledge receipt of your e-mail dated 11th October 2018 on behalf of Chief Superintendent McKenzie. Further correspondence will be forthcoming.
As President Donald Trump might say, let’s see what happens.
Whilst we’re waiting to see what happens, please read my full hate crime report, and please comment on it. Please consider making a hate crime report yourself,. Be sure to save a copy of your hate crime report before your press “submit”. Full instructions here:
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