Scottish Police Trained To Target Actors And Comedians Under Hate Crime Laws; Report

Authored by Steve Watson via

Police in Scotland are being trained to target actors and comedians under new hate crime laws set to be activated next month, reports The Herald, citing leaked police documents.

Training materials obtained by the outlet state that content deemed to be “threatening and abusive” under the Hate Crime and Public Order can be communicated “through public performance of a play.”

A slide from the leaked training material titled “stirring up hatred” also lists ‘protected’ characteristics including age, disability, religion, sexual orientation and transgender identity.

In other words, under First Minister Humza Yousaf’s new law, any performer who for example ‘misgenders’ trans people, jokes about race or religion, or even criticises migrants can potentially be prosecuted.

The training material further states that even those forwarding or sharing material deemed to be ‘hateful’ can also be targeted under the law.

It states “The different ways in which a person may communicate material to another person are by: displaying, publishing or distributing the material, for example on a sign, on the internet through websites, blogs, podcasts, social media etc., either directly, or by forwarding or repeating material that originates from a third party, through printed media such as magazine publications or leaflets.”

So, essentially retweeting a Dave Chappelle or Ricky Gervais skit, like the one below, could land you with a hate criminal charge in Scotland.

Commenting on the training material, Shadow justice secretary Russell Findlay said “If this is genuine Police Scotland training material, it appears to be at odds with the legislation which excludes plays from its scope. This revelation adds to widespread concerns about Humza Yousaf’s hate crime law and needs to be explained.”

Findlay added that “The Scottish Conservatives remain committed to binning this dangerous law which threatens free speech and risks causing chaos for hard-working police officers.”

The Scottish Daily Express previously reported that police had been given mandatory training in how to deal with alleged hate crimes, including a question asking “A high profile, male politician who is a strong supporter of the LGBT community is abused in the street during campaigning and called a ‘Deviant’. What aggravators would be recorded for this crime?”

The multiple choice answers provided were “Disability – physical impairment; Racial – white Scottish; Transgender Identity – female to male; or Sexual orientation – Gay man.”

The Scottish government, led by Yousaf, has also floated proposals to punish parents who refuse to accept their children identifying as transgender with up to seven years in jail under a separate new law.

Also see: Elon Musk Calls Scottish Leader ‘A Blatant Racist’ 

Yousaf was previously labelled “a blatant racist” by X owner Elon Musk, who was commenting on a video posted to the platform of Yousaf, complaining that the “most senior positions in Scotland are filled almost exclusively by people who are white” and stating it is “not good enough,” and that that Scotland has a problem of structural racism,” despite being demographically 96% white.

Also see: Scottish Hate Crime Bill Would Criminalize Offensive Dinner Table Conversations

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