Fair Cop's Letter to Chief Constable Jardine
Northumbria Constabulary’s Interference of Social Media Use and Article 11 ECHR
Chief Constable Vanessa Jardine Northumbria Constabulary
13 November 2023
Dear Chief Constable Jardine,
We write on behalf of our client, Ms C with regard to her interview under caution at _____ Police Station in regard to allegations of an offence contrary to Section 1 of The Malicious Communications Act 1998.
As you are aware, Section 1 of the Act requires that the material sent breaches the high bar of being “grossly offensive.” Whilst “grossly offensive” is not defined in law, there is nothing in the evidence put to our client that any reasonable person would consider to be within the foothills of this standard. Your officer, PC Lyon, seems to agree, as not once does he put this qualifying term to his suspect.
This failure cannot be dismissed as an omission. On Thursday 9th November, at the request of our client, we spoke with PC Lyon, warning him that he must not pursue the matter absent of material that he reasonably judged to be grossly offensive, as opposed to merely offensive.
We reminded the officer to consider Miller versus The Chief Constable of Humberside and the protections, cited in that ruling, afforded by Article 10. To aid the officer, we even sent him links to the ruling and to the new Code of Practice. We also stated that he should not pursue our client in the absence of an actual victim, or as a result of comments made on Twitter to which a third party had taken offence. This detail is pertinent to the subsequent interview.
PC Lyon assured us that our client was under no threat of arrest, that he would consider the information we provided, and would seek advice from a senior officer prior to further action.
Within two hours of this conversation, PC Lyon appeared at our client’s door. He informed her that Fair Cop had given her false advice, and that the Miller ruling in fact obliged the police to arrest her should she maintain her refusal to attend a voluntary interview. Astonishingly, PC Lyon stated that the interview was for her own good.
Our client attended the interview the following day. Whilst the manner of PC Lyon was business like and not overbearing, he informed her that she was not under arrest, and was free to leave at any time. However, he also warned her that, should she exercise her right to leave, he may arrest her. This is the very definition of gaslighting and coercive control.
Turning to the interview itself, PC Lyon asked our client why she used social media, how often she posted, and whether she had any lawful excuse for doing so.
Our client does not need to rely on a “lawful excuse” for posting on social media. X is a forum where information is given and received, and her right to engage in this a flow of information without interference from the police is protected by Article 11 ECHR.
The content of her activity on X is protected by Article 10. Nothing that she posted comes close to falling outside that protection. Expressing the view that trans women are men is a belief specifically covered by Forstater and Miller. Her other expressions are equally protected.To Chief Constable Vanessa Jardine, Northumbria Constabulary. 13th November 2023
Throughout the interview, PC Lyon only referred to a hypothetical victim, as opposed to an actual one. This is evident from the repeated use of the phrase “Do you think someone could have found the post offensive? Do you think anyone could have been caused alarm or distress?”
Third party offence of this nature was endorsed in the HCOG (2014), but only then as a Non Crime Hate Incident. Miller v The College of Policing declared this unlawful in 2021. Subsequent APP and statutory guidance specifically bars this type of recording. Nowhere is there any guidance or legislation that requires, encourages, or allows the police to treat as criminal that which would previously have been dealt with as an NCHI.
The damage done to the public’s confidence in policing is second only to the damage inflicted by your force upon Ms A. Not only did she suffer coercive threats and abuse, she now has to live with the irreversible fact that she was interviewed by the police as the suspect of a hate crime. The immediate consequence of this is that Newcastle United have withdrawn her membership. She has spent the weekend in terror, and continues to suffer the fallout that inevitably occurs from family, friends and colleagues who say “Well, you must have done something wrong.”
From your cosseted Headquarters, you will know nothing of the terror inflicted by the police upon Ms A, who, as a lesbian woman, is already vulnerable. Your personal commitment to promoting the LGBTQ agenda cannot be divorced from the grossly offensive actions of your male officers at the behest of one of that movement’s unhinged activists. When Fair Cop previously attempted to engage with you as LGBT lead for the NPCC, you dismissed us a hate group. In fact, it is Northumbria Police which is the hate group.
We have a waiting list of KCs who have expressed a willingness to to act pro bono to
prosecute you, PC Lyon, and your force. Malfeasance in Public Office, and the Protection From Harassment Act 1997, as well as Judicial Review, are all under consideration.
However, we do not wish to put our client through any more stress and so would prefer a less litigious solution. To that end, we have agreed to stay action if you agree to the following:
Personal and immediate representation to Newcastle United FC on behalf of our
client. The ballot for the AC Milan game is imminent and, unless our clients
membership is restored, she will not qualify. If this is not possible due to the time
constraint, an invitation as guest to to your corporate hospitality may suffice.
A full public apology without qualification.
An in-person apology to our client.
An in-person meeting with Fair Cop and LGB Alliance to agree a course of future
action that protects member of the public from similar unlawful interference.
Disciplinary action against all officers involved.
That you report your force to the IOPC.
Please respond by 4:00pm, Friday 24th November 2023, to points 2 to 7.
Harry Miller Co founder - Fair Cop