Following a judge’s ruling that College of Policing guidance, which included tweets regarding transgender topics being classified as hate incidents, had a chilling impact on freedom of speech, campaigners have demanded 120,000 of these ‘hate incidences’ be removed from peoples’ records. 

After challenging the College of Policing’s guidance regarding hate incidents, Harry Miller (ex-policeman) accused it of being a ‘Stasi in stealth’.

Miller is a “gender-critical” lawyer who launched the legal campaign after an anonymous complaint about several allegedly transphobic posts on Miller’s Twitter account regarding gender recognition laws.

Police visited the 56-year old at work, threatened him with prosecution and told him that the matter was a non-crime hate incident. 

In 2014, the Macpherson Inquiry into Stephen Lawrence’s death recommended that ‘non-crime hatred incidents’ be introduced. These are non-crime incidents that victims or others perceive to be motivated or motivated by hatred or prejudice. This is according to College of Policing guidance. Non-crime hate incident reports can be found in criminal records checks for up to six years. However, there is no basis to appeal.

Mr Miller’s lawyers had argued that the College’s guidance – which serves as national policy for police forces – was ‘completely irrational’. 

After a long legal battle lasting two years, high-ranking judges ruled that yesterday’s guidance violated the rights of the ex-policeman to freedom expression. The College was also advised by them to revise its guidelines to include more protections for freedom of speech.

Campaigners have now called on police forces – or failing that, the Government – to delete thousands of ‘hate incidents’ from people’s records.

MailOnline: Darren Grimes, a pro Brexit pundit claimed that ‘Orwellian ‘non-crimes’’ are used?to stifle speech & debate.

Toby Young, the director-general for the Free Speech Union today suggested that anyone who lost their job due to a “hate incident” recorded against them could sue the police after yesterday’s ruling. 

Grimes explained that ‘Thousands have had these awful things attached as to their names, wasting valuable police resources. Let’s put our coppers on the streets, not in our tweets. Further litigation may not be necessary. The judgment is clear and simple. The time has come for the Government’s police to focus on the priorities of the people. 

When asked if hate incidents should be removed, he replied: “The government should do that for thousands up and down the nation.”  

Yesterday former policeman Harry Miller accused the College of Policing of operating as ¿Stasi by stealth¿ after he won a landmark Court of Appeal challenge against police guidance on ¿hate incidents¿

Yesterday, Harry Miller, a former officer in police who won an important Court of Appeal challenge to police guidelines on hate incidents against the College of Policing was able to accuse them of running a Stasi-by stealth’ operation.

Pro-Brexit pundit Darren Grimes

Toby Young, director-general of the Free Speech Union

Darren Grimes, a pro Brexit pundit, claimed that ‘Orwellian non-crimes’ were used ‘to stifle discussion and speech. Toby Young, director-general at the Free Speech Union (right), suggested today that anyone who lost their job due to a “hate incident” recorded against them could sue the police.

What constitutes “noncrime hate incidents”? And what is the Court of Appeal going to do about them? 

What are ‘Non-Crime Hate Incidents’? 

Following the Macpherson inquiry into Stephen Lawrence’s murder, non-crime hate incidents have been introduced. 

These are non-crimes that victims or others perceive to have been motivated by hatred or prejudice, as per the College of Policing’s guidelines on hate crime. 

Non-crime hate incidents reports can be found in criminal records checks up to six years. However, there is no basis for appeal. 

The College of Policing has been ordered by Dame Victoria Sharp to develop new safeguards to ensure that future recordings of hate incidents are not unreasonably incompatible with their legal rights to express themselves. 

These incidents are not considered crimes of hate, however the guidelines for their use will be stricter. 


Dame Sharp explained that non-crime hate incidents are clearly recorded. The knowledge that these matters were being recorded by the police and kept in a data base is likely to cause a chilling effect on public discourse.

As Lady Justice Simler and Lord Justice Haddon–Cave sat together, the judge found that such records could be revealed in an enhanced criminal history check. This would add to their chilling effect.

She said, “The notion of chilling effects in relation to freedom of expression” is very important.

“It is often brought up in discussion about whether restrictions on journalistic activities are legal; however, I believe it is equally relevant when considering private citizens’ rights to voice their opinions within the laws, even on sensitive matters of public concern.

M Justice Julian Knowles, who was delivering the High Court ruling said that while Mr Miller’s Twitter posts were “mostly opaque, profane and unsophisticated”, they were still protected by freedom of expression.

Miller said previously that he wasn’t antagonistic towards those who self-identify with a gender other than their biological sex. 

Victoria declared that gender discussions involved “plainly important issues of public concern on which strong viewpoints are held, and publicly expressed”.

She added: “Mr Miller belonged to a group who could easily get stigmatized for their views and be subjected to complaints by people offended by them.”

Senior judges found, however, that the guidance was legitimately intended to prevent crime. However these aims can be met by more intrusive methods.

Later, Dame Victoria rejected the High Court judge’s conclusion that the guidance should not be interpreted as a “common-sense discretion”.

“Though the judge stated that police can not record irrational complains, and the police claim they do so, there is nothing in the revised guidance to support this assertion,” she explained.

“The guidance envisages, on its face,” the police recording of non-crime hate incidents. These are, in short, non-crime-non-hate incidents.


The Metropolitan Police interviewed Mr Grimes about rumours of inciting racial hate after David Starkey, a historian appeared on the Brexiteer’s YouTube channel during last year’s Black Lives Matter protests. 

Starkey said that slavery is not genocide. Without it, there wouldn’t have been so many blacks in Africa and Britain.

Yesterday’s decision was reacted to by Mr Young who told MailOnline that he believes police have no option but to erase all records right away.

“This judgment means that non-crime hate incidents have been illegally recorded against individuals’ names. This was the Court’s unambiguous statement. It described the compulsory recording of such incidents as an illegal interference with freedom to express and a violation of Article 10 European Convention on Human Rights.

Calvin Robinson, a conservative commentator said that non-crimes shouldn’t be recorded. This goes against the principle of innocence until proven guilty. It is invasive, untrue, and against privacy. Why do we allow police to record information on innocent civilians?

Emma Webb, who is a freedom of speech advocate, said that Harry Miller was to be commended for his courage and steely determination.

“Given that ”noncrime hate incidences” are an illegal interference with freedom to express and their recording in a police database will likely have a chilling effect on public discussion, it seems only fair that all such incidents should be removed from the police records.

Priti Patel (Home Secretary) stated in April that allegations of hate incidents must be removed from one’s file if there has been no crime. 

According to a Home Office source, “These so-called non-crime hate incidents have a chilling impact on free speech and can potentially stop people legally and legitimately expressing opinions.” The police should not punish people who have done no wrong if they are proven innocent. 

Police claimed that they have recorded nearly 120,000 incidents of ‘non-crime hatred’ in February 2018. With 13,856 hate incidents, the South Wales Police was found to be the most prolific while the Met had logged more than 9,000. 

The Court of Appeal ruled in a shocking judgment that, although the guidance was intended to protect people from crime and avoid it, there are ‘less intrusive ways’ of accomplishing this.

Dame Victoria Sharp is one of the nation’s top judges. She said there’s no “common sense discretion” in the regulations to prohibit irrational complainants from being recorded.

It was ruled that the recording and storage of incidents of hatred and non-crime is a clear interference with freedom to express and that knowledge such matters were being recorded by the police and kept in a data base is likely will have a severe ”chilling impact” on public discourse.

Julian Knowles announced the court’s decision by saying that Miller’s tweets are ‘lawful’. He also said that Miller should not underestimate the consequences of police officers turning up at Miller’s work place ‘because he has political opinions.

He stated that it would undervalue the cardinal democratic freedom. This country has never seen a Cheka, Gestapo, or Stasi. “We have not lived in an Orwellian Society.”

Outside court Miller stated that being offensive is a cornerstone of freedom.

He said, ‘Being offensive does not constitute an offence. It cannot be and should not.’ It should only be considered a problem if speech becomes malicious communication or targeted harassment of an individual.

TalkRadio said that he believed these people were dangerous. [College of Policing]They are total and utter idiots. They tried to convince the High Court that hate, non-crime and crime are two different things. They must be stopped.

“The implications are severe. You could have a hate crime incident on your record, which could be sent to police to block you from getting job promotion or other benefits. This is a wonderful day for British democracy. This is a great day for freedom and democracy in Britain.

A anonymous complainant had posted about Miller’s tweets to Humberside Police, who recorded the incident as a hate incident in January 2020.

Miller raised objections to Humberside Police actions and College’s advice at the High Court. 

The court ruled that Humberside Police’s actions had been a “disproportionate interference” to Miller’s right to free expression. After the College was found to have legitimate purposes, Mr Miller lost an appeal.

His lawyers informed the Court of Appeal in March that Miller’s police guidance regarding hate incidents “violates” the right of freedom of expression. 

Conservative commentator Calvin Robinson added: ¿Non-crimes should not be logged. Why are we allowing police forces to log information about innocent civilians?¿

Free speech campaigner Emma Webb

Calvin Robinson, Conservative Commentator (left) said: “Non-crimes should never be logged. What is the point of allowing police to record information on innocent civilians? Emma Webb, a free speech activist (right), said that Harry Miller’s steely determination was a credit to the nation.

One of the messages which Mr Miller retweeted was a poem which included the line: 'Your vagina goes nowhere'

Miller tweeted one of his messages, which contained the following line: “Your vagina goes anywhere”

An example of one of the tweets Mr Miller has posted on his social media account

One example of a tweet that Mr Miller shared on his social networking account

The College’s lawyers argued that any interference in freedom of expression was proportionate to legitimate goals pursued by guidance.

According to the court, guidance was ‘fully changed’ with updated information including “a warning that police will not respond in adisproportionate manner to non-crime hate incidents reports”. This also directly references the High Court ruling.

Yesterday, Assistant Chief Constable Iain Raphael from College of Policing stated in a statement that freedom of expression is fundamental and should be protected.

Policing is a profession that strives to safeguard the most vulnerable, enforce law and uphold basic rights. The College of Policing helps to support this work by setting standards and exchanging knowledge. This allows for better public service and enables individuals and forces to be more effective.

“Complaints about hate can be complex. Our guidance helps officers to understand the best way to handle this part of their job.

The balance between protecting vulnerable individuals and communities from harm and facilitating and protecting freedom of speech is what we’ve always tried to achieve.

“The court found that we must make our guidelines more specific to enable police officers to enforce the law in a proportionate manner. We will carefully listen, consider, and then make changes if necessary.

“The decision clarifies the fact that police are empowered to retain, record and use large amounts of information and data to ensure safety for all.

The police are able to gain information about potential tensions and individuals’ harm by recording the right things. Police guidance is constantly reviewed and updated to meet the changing demands for protecting the public.