First minister calls for end to vexatious reports after far-right agitators attempt to ‘overwhelm’ official systems

Neo-Nazi and far-right agitators are exploiting Scotland’s new hate crime law to make vexatious complaints en masse in an attempt to “overwhelm” police systems.

A prominent figure in England’s white nationalist movement is among those urging followers to spam Police Scotland with anonymous online reports, the *Observer *has found.

The leader of a far-right group – one of several fringe organisations being assessed by the UK government under its new extremism definition – promoted a private channel on the encrypted messaging app Telegram that includes a “call to action” urging members to “mass report”.

Posts in the channel instruct members to log cases of supposed “anti-white” hate, which they say includes a statement on the police force’s website that “young men aged 18-30 are most likely to commit hate crime”.

  • Minotaur@lemm.ee
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    3 months ago

    Why do neo Nazis need to overwhelm the police system. They’re often the same guys.

    • hydroptic@sopuli.xyz
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      3 months ago

      Conservatives only like cops when they abuse minorities or pretty much anyone else who isn’t reich-wing. “They’re hurting the wrong people!”

      • lanolinoil@lemmy.world
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        3 months ago

        There’s a great fake commercial in the new Reno 911 where Reineisha is selling a Kyle Rittenhouse costume for black people because ‘you’ll be safer dressed like this than with black skin’

    • BarrelAgedBoredom@lemm.ee
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      3 months ago

      There’s plenty of anti-police neo-nazis. Good luck trying to make sense of their ideological reasoning, but they exist nonetheless. This would also be advantageous for sympathetic police too. Gives them a reason to say “see, this tip line is bullshit. We don’t need to pay any mind to it”.

      If they’re persistent enough the tip line may be shut down. We’ve seen it in the US with anti-trans snitching pages started by a few states. Progressives of various stripes flood these pages with bunk information to the point of breaking the site for a long enough time and the state caves, taking the page down. It’s a common and effective tactic, no wonder the fascists are using it too. Tactics aren’t sacred or necessarily specific to a given ideology. If it works for the left it may very well work for the right too

    • lanolinoil@lemmy.world
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      3 months ago

      … In Scotland?

      The only military-like police I’ve ever interacted with are all the ones in the USA.

        • ForgotAboutDre@lemmy.world
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          3 months ago

          The problems with police Scotland aren’t anywhere near the same scale. That article had to go back to 1998 to find a second suspicions death that Police Scotland may be responsible for.

          It also misleading presents data suggesting women are leaving at a higher rate. When the numbers in the article show that women are less likely to leave the police force than men. They also say that ethnic minorities are leaving at a higher rate than other groups. But it’s only 1% higher and the amount of people leaving is small and the amount of ethnic minorities are small. This is mostly likely noise in the data.

          Police Scotland don’t have a lot of ethnic minorities because Scotland doesn’t have a lot of ethnic minorities. Many of the ethnic minorities in Scotland are recent immigrant or their children. It takes time for them to take up positions in authorities like the police and army. Especially senior positions. For those you need to compare it to the ethnic make up of Scotland 30 years ago. The 1991 census found 99% of people in Scotland reported themselves as white. That’s when the executive level police officers would have been recruited.

          Police Scotland could do better to welcome and encourage woman and ethnic minorites in Scotland. They’ve had historic issues, especially with sectarianism and sexism. But they aren’t anywhere near the problems US cops have.

          The most recent police shooting in Scotland had the police shooting a dog. That’s what made national news because they aren’t shooting people. Only the equivalent of specialist squat team police get guns in Scotland (even then they leave them in the car most of the time). That officer would have been suspended because he fired his weapon pending investigation (even though the dog was a dangerous bred and was attacking people).

          Police Scotland also turned up at a protest against shipping asylum seekers off. They didn’t turn up to fight the crowd, they made the UK government officials release the asylum seekers.

          They also took very innovative approaches to tackling violence in Glasgow. Rather than increase enforcement they identified the issue was a social issue not a criminal one. They took a joined up approach, involving social workers, families and schools etc. They realised force wasn’t the answer. This was very innovative at the time. Violence in Glasgow is now very low.

          Police Scotland aren’t perfect. But they’re relatively good at policing fairly and effectively. If anything they should be used as an example for most police forces. Their is a lot of criticism for how they aren’t turning up to deal with minor crimes or have lots of officers on the beat. But they are very effective at tackling major crimes. The biggest problem is reduced resources (UK never recovered from austerity after 2008) and court backlogs (COVID and austerity).

    • Rivalarrival@lemmy.today
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      3 months ago

      Job security. If there is no crime, someone is going to start asking why we need all these cops.

  • BreakDecks@lemmy.ml
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    3 months ago

    So these are the people that JKR and friends have been calling to action. Not surprised, the TERF to Nazi pipeline is nothing new.

  • Olap@lemmy.world
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    3 months ago

    Anonymous complaints are a terrible idea. No wlnder this has been targetted

    • Minotaur@lemm.ee
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      Anonymous complaints are a good thing, it’s often important to be able to report something non-publicly. It’s just being exploited here.

      • Rivalarrival@lemmy.today
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        The fact that this system can be exploited by neo Nazis should tell you that it can be exploited by anyone. Including the cops who will be investigating these complaints.

      • barsoap@lemm.ee
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        Non-public and anonymous are not the same thing. I don’t know about your jurisdiction but when you file a criminal complaint police do take down your name and address, if you’re worried about retaliation or such there’s ways to have all public records under a pseudonym and e.g. your lawyer’s address, but the state will still know who you actually are.

        You can also give an anonymous tip to the police – but those don’t ever reach the level of complaint. Police and prosecutors can toss such a statement without much fanfare, even if they don’t they can’t follow-up with questions, you’re way less credible as a witness, especially since you can’t be nailed for false accusation, at least not without investigators hunting you down. You can’t file an accessory suit (that is, be a co-prosecutor) because courts definitely don’t deal with anonymous people, if they anonymise the public record then because they think it’s the right thing to do to serve justice, not because you don’t want to show your face to at least the judge(s).

        • Minotaur@lemm.ee
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          I agree ACAB, that’s why anonymous complaints are a good thing. That way the cops can’t easily retaliate on you if you report a neo-nazi threat you saw on Facebook and it turns out to be their buddy

          • Aniki 🌱🌿@lemm.ee
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            What is this scenario are you creating in your head? Since when do police do anything about Facebook?

            • Minotaur@lemm.ee
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              Yeah man I think police are on the whole stupid bastards but I still think if you reported seeing a post from a neo nazi saying he’s going to burn down the local gay bar on Facebook they’d still look into it

                • Minotaur@lemm.ee
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                  3 months ago

                  Once… what is happening in this US?

                  Are you not aware that people are punished / investigated for social media postings every single day? This is really not hidden news man lol

      • circuscritic@lemmy.ca
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        3 months ago

        Even that thread shows how that system is ripe for abuse:

        "If a hate crime is reported to the police and following investigation no criminality is established, it will be recorded as a “hate incident”, although this is now being reviewed by the police. Hate incidents are not recorded against alleged perpetrators, but their names appear in the police files for the complainant.

        Under Police Scotland’s enhanced disclosure programme, prospective employers can request criminal history information on any person including: unspent convictions, relevant spent convictions, unspent cautions, inclusion on children’s or adults’ lists, information from the sex offenders register, and other relevant information held by the police. This final category would include non-crime hate incidents, meaning they could be disclosed to employers."

        • Adanisi@lemmy.zip
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          3 months ago

          Looks like you just read until you found what you were looking for then stopped.

          From the replies:

          If it doesn’t appear in YOUR record, it won’t appear on your disclosure since your record forms the basis of your disclosure. It’s positively Orwellian to try to manufacture outrage over something that isn’t possible

          • circuscritic@lemmy.ca
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            3 months ago

            Reports not substantiated will be filed as hate incidents.

            Hate incidents can be included on the records requested by employers, as it is relevant information held by the police.

            I’m not sure what you’re not understanding.

            • Adanisi@lemmy.zip
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              Hate incidents are not recorded against alleged perpetrators, but their names appear in the police files for the complainant.

  • AutoTL;DR@lemmings.worldB
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    This is the best summary I could come up with:


    The leader of a far-right group – one of several fringe organisations being assessed by the UK government under its new extremism definition – promoted a private channel on the encrypted messaging app Telegram that includes a “call to action” urging members to “mass report”.

    Critics also claim the law will stifle free speech, with high-profile figures including JK Rowling, Joe Rogan and Elon Musk among those to have publicly attacked it.

    After Holyrood minister Siobhian Brown said people “could be investigated” for misgendering someone online, Rowling dared police to arrest her over tweets she posted describing transgender women as men.

    This weekend, Scotland’s first minister, Humza Yousaf, the leader of the SNP, defended the legislation, telling the PA news agency that “deliberate misinformation” was being “peddled by some bad actors” falsely claiming that it was now a criminal offence to make “derogatory comments” based on the characteristics covered in the act.

    He said the flurry of complaints from far-right activists was proof that the law had “failed to hit the right target” and that the Scottish government had “sought to prosecute speech” rather than social media platforms.

    Ch Supt Rob Hay, president of the ASPS, said in a letter to Holyrood’s justice committee that he was concerned the law would be “weaponised” by an “activist fringe” across the political spectrum which could divert police resources from more serious crimes.


    The original article contains 906 words, the summary contains 230 words. Saved 75%. I’m a bot and I’m open source!