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Scottish Police keeping ‘offensive joke’ database

April 2020

More than three thousand ‘hate incidents’ have been recorded on Scottish police databases, according to a report in The Times.

In the past five years, Police Scotland has logged more than 3,300 hate incidents that involve no criminality, with hundreds of people recorded on the databases each year for non-crimes, such as telling offensive jokes.

As reported in The Times, jokes and other acts perceived to be motivated by hostility towards race, religion, or a person being transgender are filed ‘irrespective of whether there is any evidence to identify the hate element’, according to official guidelines.

However, the newspaper claimed civil liberties campaigners and comedians have accused the policy of stifling freedom of expression, and have accused the force of over-policing the public. Moreover, details of these reports can be handed to potential employers.

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