Last month, officers from the West Yorkshire Police arrested a 16-year-old autistic girl in Leeds for comparing a short-haired, butch-looking police officer, to her “lesbian grandmother.” The girl screamed in distress as she was arrested and taken into custody by seven officers for a suspected ‘homophobic public-order offence’, as captured on viral video. Later, the case was dropped. View the post here.
Now officers from the same force have been at it again. A 73-year-old woman has been interrogated in her own home on suspicion of committing a hate crime after she stopped in the street to photograph a sticker that read, “Keep men out of women-only spaces.” The pensioner was identified from CCTV footage. She has asked not to be named over fears of reprisals from mentally ill individuals.
This horrific hate crime happened in the picturesque town of Hebden Bridge in West Yorkshire, the setting for the TV programme Happy Valley. In recent years, Hebden Bridge has acquired a reputation for being something of a magnet for lesbian couples, in the same way that Brighton has for gay men.
The woman, a retired social worker, photographed the sticker, which had been stuck over a LGBT+ pride poster that had the slogan ‘Stand By Your Trans’ outside of the Town Hall. She said did not share the image on social media and only took the photo to show her female ‘partner’ when she got home. A few days later, two uniformed plod from West Yorkshire Police came calling.
‘They gave me a long lecture about the sensitivity of the issue, and how something like this could cause harassment and alarm to the community,’ she said. ‘They were investigating it as a hate crime, which is outrageous. I was in a state of shock.’ Our wonderful police, who haven’t the time or resources to investigate real crimes but seem to believe it is their duty to pursue thought criminals, gave her ‘words of advice… regards the harassment and alarm that this sticker could potentially cause to the community’.
‘I think they wanted to correct my thinking,’ she added. ‘They are getting involved in a very divided and toxic debate, but it’s not their role to arbitrate political disagreements. I felt as if they were trying to gag a dissenting voice by harassing me in my own home.’
The record of the West Yorkshire Police Force in solving real crime is abysmal. West Yorkshire has the second-highest crime rate in the UK, but more than 90 per cent of cases go unsolved. Harry Miller, a former police officer, accused the officers of ‘thought policing’.
He said, ‘How can a woman photographing a sticker cause alarm and distress to the Happy Valley Pride community? There is politically correct rot at the heart of West Yorkshire policing.’
The woman has made a complaint to West Yorkshire Police about her treatment.
Top Image: Stasi Cells in Bautzner Strasse Memorial, Dresden. Heinz-Josef Lücking, CC BY-SA 3.0 DE, via Wikimedia Commons.
Lower Image: The offending poster and sticker.
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