Jake Hurfurt, Daily Mail, November 17, 2018
We all know it’s irritating, unsightly and unhygienic, but one case of dog fouling has been logged by police as a racist hate crime.
The incident is among numerous alleged hate crimes uncovered by The Mail on Sunday that critics say are so petty they are undeserving of police time and expense.
Further examples in a list of more than 2,500 alleged ‘hate incidents’ logged by the Metropolitan Police in 2015 and 2016 include:
- An envelope that had been opened and resealed;
- An accident involving a car that bore a Remembrance poppy;
- A disputed line call in a tennis match;
- A dead rat found in a garden;
- And a man telling library staff he was campaigning for Brexit.
Last night, David Davies, Tory MP and former special constable, said the recording of such ‘non-crimes’ was a waste of police time.
‘This is part of the reason that police struggle to investigate serious offences such as home burglaries,’ he said. ‘People need to start thinking more carefully before they call the police.’
The 2,507 hate incidents are revealed in a 118-page document disclosed under Freedom of Information laws.
A description of the dog fouling incident reads: ‘An unknown dog has fouled outside of victim address and victim perceived this to be a racial incident.’
Another canine-related case logged as an alleged hate crime says: ‘Suspect’s dog barking at victim.’
On another occasion, a supposed victim of racial abuse reported that he ‘believes a letter addressed to him was opened and then resealed before he had collected it from the Post Office’.
Several of the claims were over parking disputes or car crashes. One entry says: ‘Unknown suspect has reversed into victim’s car causing extensive damage. Victim perceives to be a hate crime as she had a poppy in front of her car.’
Another man claimed that his neighbours were parking only outside his house and were ‘targeting him due to him being black’. Disputes between neighbours feature prominently. One entry says: ‘Victim on hearing her neighbours in their house has put her ear up to their door to hear what they are talking about. In a conversation they have referred to her as [redacted] and made remarks of trying to get her moved out.’
Another reads: ‘Witness has had parking issues with her next-door neighbour, their children apparently throw stones and balls over the garden fence. Witness has recently found a dead rat in garden and perceives this to be racist.’
On another occasion, a resident in a block of flats reported that a neighbour was racially abusing them by ‘smoking heavily’.
Meanwhile, an angry father called police after his daughter lost a tennis match to complain the defeat was due to a racist umpire. ‘Informant feels his daughter was subjected to racial discrimination at a tennis match where line calls went against her,’ the incident log reads.
Other arguments involved unhappy customers in shops, pubs and on public transport.
They include one person who felt a bus driver had given them a ‘racist look’ and a woman thrown out of a pub for being ‘drunk, aggressive and erratic’ who told police she had been targeted ‘because she is Polish’.
In a separate complaint, a pupil struggling in a swimming lesson reported his teacher for ‘faith-based abuse’ for speaking to him in an ‘abrupt manner’.
Current rules mean police have to record any allegation described as motivated by prejudice as a hate incident, even if it is insufficiently serious to be regarded as a crime.
And control room staff are required to note down the details even if the informant does not want any action to be taken.