Friday, 20 January 2012

National Secular Society and Insults

The National Secular Society has submitted a response to the Police Powers Consultation, calling on the Government to remove 'insulting' from Section 5 of the Public Order Act. A change in the law would protect freedom of expression for both the religious and non-religious. It would also lay down clearer guidelines for the police and direct them to focus on more serious cases. The submission calls on the Government to recognise that the word 'insulting' sets the bar for criminal offence far too low. The risk of being arrested can in itself have a chilling effect, preventing people from expressing legitimate views. Section 5 would retain threatening and abusive conduct to cover serious offences and there are other existing laws to protect the individual. http://www.secularism.org.uk/news/2012/01/nss-challenges-the-law--an-insult-should-not-be-a-criminal-offence

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