Police in a United Kingdom precinct are urging residents to call for help when they feel insulted.
In a world where “snowflakes” regularly complain of “microaggressions” such as addressing an audience “ladies and gentlemen,” the South Yorkshire Police are encouraging people to “put a stop” to hate and report what they have loosely defined as “non-crime hate incidents.”
They admit the only can prosecute “when the law in broken,” but they say some comments “can feel like a crime to those affected.”
The Christian Institute said it successfully pressed the government in 2013 to modify its hate-crime provisions to protect free speech.
The Christian organization was joined in that effort by the National Secular Society,
Then in 2014, the institute helped lead another free speech campaign called Reform Clause 1. It opposed the Anti-Social Behavior Crime and Policing Bill, which outlawed being an “annoyance.”
The South Yorkshire police were criticized on Twitter for policing “thought crimes.”
One tweet called it “a bridge toward totalitarianism.”
Another said: “You could probably just lock a good 25 percent of the public away now and call it crime prevention.”
On critic asked: “Just to be clear: you want me to phone the police when there hasn’t been a crime but someone’s feelings have been hurt?”
Journalist Toby Young was also critical of the advice, the institute said.
He asked, “If the incident in question isn’t a crime, even under the absurdly capacious legal definition of a ‘hate crime,’ then what is South Yorkshire police proposing to do by way of not tolerating it?”
The London Standard reported the police said: “In addition to reporting hate crime, please report non-crime hate incidents, which can include things like offensive or insulting comments, online, in person or in writing. Hate will not be tolerated in South Yorkshire. Report it and put a stop to it.”
The message was sent to 166,000 followers of the police agency on social media.
“But it was relentlessly mocked, with more than 5,000 responses to the Sunday night post. Many people likened the force to George Orwell’s ‘Thought Police’ from his novel Nineteen Eighty-Four,” the Standard said.
The law enforcement agency responded in defense of its demands: “Police can only prosecute when the law is broken, but we want to know about non-crime hate incidents. Incidents may not be criminal offences but can feel like a crime to those affected, and can sometimes escalate to crimes.”