Camber Sands: Super-sensitive Police report Katie Hopkins to Twitter for saying mean things
We live in strange and worrying times. Katie Hopkins, a woman who lost a competition for an office job in Brentwood, Essex, (The Apprentice), has said something about the deaths of five people in the seas off Camber Sands. When I first saw the Independent’s headline, I thought it was a typo, with the words the wrong way around:
Katie Hopkins reported to Twitter by police over Camber Sands deaths poll
It can’t be so that the British police demure to twitter in criminal matters? It can be. That’s no typo. The story goes:
Sussex police has reported Katie Hopkins to Twitter after she conducted a poll mocking the possible identities of five men whose bodies were pulled from the sea at Camber Sands beach.
This was the Tweet that had Sussex police upset:
5 dead at Camber Sands were:
Aspiring footballers, mentally ill, fans of Anders Brevik or big fans of inflatables.
Stewart Ayrey @StewartAyrey was offended. He called the police, asking the State’s enforcers to deal with some one said something he didn’t like.
@sussex_police is there anything you can do about this from @KTHopkins? Bad taste at very least.
Can the police arrest you for doing things in bad taste? No. Not yet. They admit as much in their reply:
@sussex_police @StewartAyrey @KTHopkins incredibly insensitive, although not criminal. We suggest reporting her to @Twitter. We have already.
A spokesperson for Sussex police goes on the record:
“At about 10.30am on Thursday (25 August), Sussex Police were made aware of a tweet regarding the tragic incident at Camber Sands on Wednesday (24 August). The force considered this tweet to be insensitive towards the victims and their families and reported it to Twitter under the categories “abusive or harmful” and “disrespectful or offensive”. Shortly after this the tweet was removed.”
Who knew the police were so sensitive. We knew they were censorious and keen on PR. But sensitive?
Chief Inspector Julia Pope then adds:
“Our primary reason for doing this was out of respect and concern for the thoughts and feelings of the next of kin of those who sadly died at Camber. Since the removal of the tweet we have been asked whether we will investigate and seek prosecution. After reviewing CPS guidance we have made the decision that this communication does not meet the prosecution threshold. Therefore, whilst the communication is distasteful it would not be criminal or fit within the guidelines for prosecution.
“We are satisfied that the tweet has now been removed.”
They checked. They wanted to see if a tweet they didn’t much like could be criminal. We know it can be. Liam Stacey’s plight taught us that.
We live in strange times when words are policed and free speech is criminalized. Stranger still they we all don’t get angry about it.
PS: On the Sussex Police Facebook Page, these comments appear below the story. None are deemed insensitive by the Force:
Free speech: it’s not only ok when you agree with what’s being said. It’s the right to say unpleasant things, too.