A British police force, already in special measures over its long-term failures to protect people, has admitted to have not acted in a “wholly proportionate” manner after officers visited a feminist campaigner at home for being “untoward about paedophiles”.
On Sunday, British YouTuber and feminist campaigner Kellie-Jay Keen, also known as Posie Parker, said that two police officers from the Wiltshire force came to her home to relay that there had been a complaint levied against her for one of her videos, saying: “Somebody’s phoned up because one of your videos you’re being untoward about paedophiles.”
According to Keen, the officer admitted that he had not even watched the video in question, yet, because someone had been offended, they recorded it as a “hate crime”. Keen said that the officer was unable to tell her if it was in fact recorded as a crime or the controversial “non-crime hate incident” category.
The video in question was reportedly Mermaids, Drag and Grooming, in which Keen criticised a LGBT pride event for having a 12-year-old boy dancing on stage in drag, which she claimed was a form of exploitation.
Following harsh criticism on social media, the Wiltshire Police issued a statement, tacitly admitting that the actions taken by officers were wrong, and that they no longer fell in line with the recently updated advice from the College of Policing, which told officers last week that being offensive is not in itself a crime and that police should not involve themselves in “debates on Twitter”.
A spokesman from the Wiltshire Police said on Thursday: “Following a report from a member of the public, officers visited a woman in Trowbridge to offer words of advice regarding comments made online which the complainant felt were inappropriate and offensive. No further additional police action will take place and the matter has been closed.
“Having reviewed our response to this incident in relation to the new guidance from the College of Policing concerning hate crime incidents, we acknowledge that the response from the Force was not wholly proportionate.
“However, it is important to state that our officers acted with the best intentions, working to the previous guidance, which only changed last week.
“We are currently working on ensuring the latest national guidance is fully shared within our organisation to provide clarity to officers on how reports of this nature should be dealt with on a case by case basis to ensure a consistent and proportionate response.”
We've issued the following statement due to widespread commentary online:
"Following a report from a member of the public, officers visited a woman in Trowbridge to offer words of advice regarding comments made online which the complainant felt were inappropriate and offensive. pic.twitter.com/Ci7W02VGVq
— Wiltshire Police (@wiltshirepolice) July 27, 2022
Ms Keen, who runs the Standing For Women organisation, which seeks to protect women’s rights from the encroachment of transgender ideology, mocked the police statement on Wednesday, saying sarcastically that the officers “were just following orders”.
“I just want to be a fly on the wall when they had that meeting and realised what on earth they were doing,” she said.
Last month, the Wiltshire Police was put under special measures by the HM Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) police watchdog over “serious concerns” about how the force uses its resources and how it responds to the public and protects vulnerable people.
HMIC Inspector Wendy Williams said that the “force is missing opportunities to protect vulnerable and repeat victims of crime. It needs to improve the way it manages victims’ calls, so that all vulnerable people are identified. Some domestic abuse victims have received an unacceptable level of service and have continued to remain at risk.”
The update to the guidelines from the College of Policing on non-crime hate incidents — of which 120,000 were recorded over the past five years by police — comes as as rapes, sexual assaults and violent crimes have hit record highs. At the same time, the number of cases actually solved by police have fallen dramatically, with just 1.3 per cent of rape cases resulting in a criminal charge.
Broken Britain: Rapes, Sexual Offences, Violent Crimes at Highest Level Since Records Beganhttps://t.co/JRGa5SwQYS
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) July 22, 2022
Follow Kurt Zindulka on Twitter here @KurtZindulka