Tom Slater Tom Slater

The case that sums up the police’s warped priorities

If you want a snapshot of how warped the police’s priorities are these days, look to the case of Kevin Mills. Mills, a 63-year-old electrician, has just had a ‘non-crime hate incident’ scrubbed from his record following a bizarre battle with Kent Police. It all stems from a testy exchange in 2019 between himself and a woman he was doing some work for. 

Mills showed up to the woman’s house in Maidstone in Kent to install a bathroom mirror. When he realised he’d need £50 more for materials, the two got into a row and she insisted on keeping some materials he’d already bought for the job. Mills walked out, saying something to the effect of ‘I’m not working for someone like you’. She then slammed the front door and allegedly threw a cup of hot tea at him.

The recording of non-crime hate incidents is a deeply Orwellian police practice

Mills called the police to report an assault following the incident and was soon informed there had been no further action. Two years later, he found out that his set-to with the woman had been recorded as a non-crime hate incident against him, on account of the fact that the woman was an ethnic minority. Mills’ ‘people like you’ comment had been interpreted and reported to police as racially motivated – a characterisation he completely rejects.

The recording of non-crime hate incidents is a deeply Orwellian police practice. In layman’s terms, they allow anyone to report anyone else over anything – and it has to be recorded by police. According to College of Policing guidelines drawn up in 2014, NCHIs are any non-criminal action that is perceived to be motivated by hatred. They can be reported by the victim or by any other person, and they must be recorded ‘irrespective of whether there is any evidence to identify the hate element’.

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