The new chief inspector of constabulary Andy Cooke has told officers that they are not “the thought police” and that they must focus on driving down real crime.
According to The Times:
In his first interview since being appointed, Cooke said: “We’re not the thought police, we follow legislation and we follow the law, simple as that. Policing is busy enough dealing with the serious offences that are going on, busy enough trying to keep people safe.”
His intervention comes amid signs that some police forces are treating reports of issues including misogyny and transphobia as hate crimes.
Judges have said that the 25,000 non-crime hate incidents recorded annually by police have risked interfering with people’s right to express their opinions.
Such reports can remain on police records as a “hate incident” and could turn up in enhanced vetting by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). Last year Merseyside police, Cooke’s former force, apologised after an officer put up a billboard that wrongly stated that “being offensive is an offence”…
He said that hate crime was clearly outlined in legislation as the point that police needed to intervene — when unpleasant thoughts turned into action.
“I do think it’s important that the prioritisation that we give is to those most at risk, and that policing stays away from the politics with a small p, and the different thoughts that people have,” he said.
“Those thoughts, unless they become actions, aren’t an offence. The law is quite clear in relation to what is an offence and what isn’t an offence.”
Cooke’s heart is probably in the right place but the police are not the real problem when it comes to freedom of thought. People should be more concerned about big tech and the private sector.
In the very near future wrong think won’t lead to a knock on your door from plod.
You’ll simply be excluded from participating in society.