MERSEYSIDE Police have been accused of wrongly misrepresenting the law.
It follows public anger after the forces staged a photograph with an advan brandishing the words ‘Being Offensive is an Offence’. The branding also featured a copy of the forces logo on an LGBTQ+ flag along with other charity logos.
A picture was later published on social media and widely circulated during a weekend of social media posts by Merseyside Police using the #HateCrime tag.
Comments such as:
‘A picture of officers with masks, stood apart, an authoritative pace stick and telling us our freedom of expression is an offence. Very alarming times!’
‘Here are the Thought Police.’
‘Hate crime is an offence, not being offensive!’
‘As a gay man, I find Merseyside Police’s shameless, cynical virtue-signalling very offensive. I don’t pay my taxes for this kind of idiocy.’
‘Merseyside Police pictured breaking their own laws’
‘You cannot be prosecuted for being an offensive tw#t, the cells would be full!’
‘Merseyside police now acting like 1984 thought Stasi police… being offensive is now an offence! We are losing this free country right in front of our eyes.’
Being offensive is not an offence
A statement later released from the forces Superintendent Martin Earl read:
“We would like to clarify ‘being offensive’ is not in itself an offence. A message on an advan and social media this weekend by the Local Policing Team on the Wirral to encourage people to report crime although well-intentioned was incorrect, and we apologise for any confusion this may have caused.”
Hate crime is an offence
Commentating on the story Charity Today Editor, Lee Rayment said:
“The police made the message with the right intent and later acknowledged that it was a bad choice of words. It is vital that people pushback because there is a stark difference between the two as many from the LGBTQ+ community acknowledged on social media.”
Machete-wielding yob not in the public interest
It’s not been a great weekend for Merseyside Police after a CPS decision to not follow up and prosecute a machete-wielding yob deeming ‘it not in the public interest’.
The now 17-year-old was captured on camera chasing an unknown male with a two-foot blade at Pyramids Birkenhead.