Wednesday 4 December 2002

The police speak out

English libertarians have quite rightly condemned the introduction of the concept of "hate crimes". The situation in Scotland is somewhat different as there are very few people of non-European ethnicity other than in certain parts of Glasgow (see next story). Up here, the perceived problem is "sectarianism" and politicians are calling for legislation.

The police are not convinced:

SENIOR police officers have warned that the Scottish Executive’s flagship plans to crack down on sectarian hatred are unworkable - less than 24 hours after Jim Wallace, the justice minister, unveiled his detailed proposals.
Here, "sectarianism" refers to Protestant and Catholic rivalry that is connected to the situation in Northern Ireland and which often spills over at and after football games.


This initiative is expected to be followed by wider powers curbing the use of paramilitary memorabilia such as sectarian souvenirs, scarves, banners and flags which can contain IRA or UDA slogans.
It's interesting that senior police officers are willing to say that the new proposals are "unworkable". Let's hope that they will speak out against "hate crime" legislation.