It is astounding that over three years since the referendum to leave the EU, that a hardcore of extreme Remoaners still cannot accept that they are on the losing side and that the majority of the British people disagree with them. One of their most despicable reactions of is to pump the false narrative that Brexit has caused an increase in so-called ‘hate crime’.
One of the chief offenders in propagating this calumny is London Mayor Sadiq Khan. Shortly after the referendum he stated: 'It's really important we stand guard against any rise in hate crimes or abuse by those who might use last week's referendum as cover.’ (1)
He has continued to fuel this false narrative on a regular basis, bolstered by others of his ilk such as David Cameron. (2)
State-funded NGOs such as Tell Mama and Stop Hate have appointed themselves as morally superior arbiters of what is and what is not acceptable speech and behaviour, and encourage people to report ‘hate crimes’ if they perceive something to be an offence motivated by racism, Islamophobia, homophobia or transphobia, however trivial.
Tell Mama lost its government funding in 2013 after claiming a sustained wave of attacks against Muslims after the murder of Fusilier Lee Rigby. (3) These claims were found to be false, but its funding was later re-instated. Despite being earlier discredited, the Conservative-In-Name-Only government recently praised their work for ‘combatting Islamophobia’ after three separate Islamist terrorist atrocities in Manchester and London in 2017 – a kick in the teeth to all those who suffered at the hands of Islamist terrorists. (4) The new Home Secretary Sajid Javid is openly consulting with them. (5)
One of the victims of this overbearing expansion of hate crime narratives is Pastor Oluwole Ilesanmi. He was arrested by the Metropolitan Police for alleged Islamophobic speech outside Southgate tube station in north London earlier this year, after reading from his Bible in a public place. This is not a crime. It is an ancient freedom; yet he was arrested and driven 5 miles by the police to a remote spot before being de-arrested and dumped with no way of getting home. After a lengthy complaints procedure, he was awarded £2,500 for wrongful arrest (6), yet the incident will remain flagged on the Metropolitan Police’s hate crime statistics, helping to build up the false narrative of Brexit-related hate crime.
The fact is that ‘hate crime’ is a purely subjective concept. The joint definition of ‘hate crime’ agreed by the Crown Prosecution Service and the police forces is "any criminal offence which is perceived by the victim or any other person, to be motivated by hostility or prejudice, based on a person's disability or perceived disability; race or perceived race; or religion or perceived religion; or sexual orientation or perceived sexual orientation or transgender identity or perceived transgender identity."
By their own admission, ‘hostility’ is not legally defined so they use an extra-legal dictionary definition: “ill-will, spite, contempt, prejudice, unfriendliness, antagonism, resentment and dislike.” (7)
The result of this is that any report of a crime which is reported to be motivated by perceived unfriendliness or dislike will be flagged as a hate crime, even if the perceived unfriendliness or dislike is false or simply made-up. The vast majority of reported hate crimes are rejected as such and downgraded by the police, but they stay on their records as ‘hate incidents.’ These are reports of hate crimes which are assessed as not even being crimes let alone motivated by hatred, but stay in the police figures and used to propagate the false narrative that the UK is awash with racism, homophobia and Islamophobia.
In the first 18 months of Sadiq Khan’s Mayoralty in London, 59% of incidents reported and flagged as ‘hate crime’ are perceived breaches of the Public Order Act Sections 4, 4A and 5. (8) This is one of the laws which criminalises non-violent words or behaviour, and is recorded by the Metropolitan Police as causing ‘Public Fear, Alarm or Distress’. This is entirely subjective however. The whole system of recording hate crimes and hate incidents was justifiably mocked earlier in the year when police forces were found to have flagged incidents of ‘racist horn beeping’ (9) and ‘Islamophobic dog mess’ and ‘homophobic shoplifting’ under Home Office rules.
In addition, a further 26% of hate crimes flagged in London during this period were classed as ‘Violence without Injury’ under ‘Violence against the Person.’ (8)
This leaves just 15% of flagged hate crimes being for what most people would think of as real and serious crimes which are entirely objective rather than having a degree of subjectivity: violence with injury, criminal damage, arson, homicide, etc.
While the left-wing parties and fake-Conservative government, police forces and the Crown Prosecution Service continue to push for more hate crime and hate speech laws for non-violent offences, ordinary people will continue to lose their freedoms as minority groups are encouraged to view themselves as victims to other peoples’ thoughts and opinions they do not like and want to silence.
In a free society, the majority must be free to express their thoughts and opinions, to make jokes and engage in banter without fear of penalty, punishment or prosecution from the state acting on behalf of malicious smears of hatred by minority groups. The whole edifice of ‘hate crime’ needs to be dismantled, with an end to politically-correct thought policing. The job of the police is to catch real criminals who cause real damage and injury to people and property, not to generate and propagate the politically-motivated false narrative that Brexit is causing ‘hate crime.’
Brexit Alliance London Assembly Member