NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 25: Leonardo DiCaprio filming on location for "The Wolf Of Wall Street" on Pine Street on August 25, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by James Devaney/WireImage)

Wolf in plod’s clothing

Why “Non Crime Hate Incidents” don’t seem to apply to the cops

Artillery Row

There’s a scene in The Wolf of Wall Street where Matthew McConaughey, the successful, experienced trader, instructs a young Leo DiCaprio on the truth about Wall Street:

McConaughey: The name of the game is moving the money from the client’s pocket to your pocket.

DiCaprio: But if you can make your client’s money at the same time, it’s advantageous to everyone, correct?

McConaughey: No.

He explains why: “So, if you’ve got a client who bought stock at 8 and now it’s at 16 and he’s all fucking happy, he wants to take in cash and liquidate, take his fucking money and run home. You don’t let him do that… cause that would make it real.”

In December, The College of Policing received a brutal lesson in reality after a three year battle that was finally resolved by The Court of Appeal. The carefully constructed pantomime of Non Crime Hate Incidents, vaunted by The College as the jewel in its intersectional crown, was finally shown to be nothing but a load of old hat. These were not Non Crime Hate Incidents, ruled the panel of three; these were none crime, none hate hate incidents – without even the need for an incident. After nine months of deliberation, The Court of Appeal finally declared them to be unlawful.

There has been only a single NCHI recorded against a Met police officer since 2014

To recap, The Guidance states that where there is complaint of a non criminal  incident perceived by the victim to be motivated by hostility toward one of the five monitored strands (Race, Religion, Sexual Orientation, Disability and Transgender) then this must be recorded by the police as a Non Crime Hate Incident.  The recording is not discretionary.  Like covid and the clap, NCHIs attach to those accused of hostility without fear or favour.

In June 2021, The Evening Standard reported that 1,046 Met officers had been accused of racial discrimination during 2020, which was an increase on the previous year’s figure of 773. The year before that, there had been 542. That is 2,361 individual incidents perceived by the victim to be motivated by hostility towards the Monitored Strand of Race. Had the Guidance been followed, this would have resulted in a corresponding number of NCHIs recorded by The Met against its own officers.

Imagine our surprise, then, when data obtained last week by Fair Cop from a Freedom of Information Request revealed that there has been only a single NCHI recorded against a Met police officer since 2014.

This means that whilst the police have enthusiastically fulfilled the obligation to record perceptions of hostility against members of the public for acts as trivial as whistling Bob The Builder, similar accusations running the other way have resulted in only a single cop being burdened with the stigma of an NCHI. The Met has 43,000 officers.

Whilst the public has learned to speak in whispers or to gag themselves entirely, the police had herd immunity from the get-go. So, the armed officers who were subject to a complaint for requiring a Muslim woman to remove a hijab at Heathrow were not recorded for hate. Neither were the detectives accused of homophobia in their dealings with the victims of Stephen Port. Neither were members of the Force Support Group accused of degrading treatment of disabled activists at an XR protest. Neither were the traffic cops accused of racial profiling by Labour MP Dawn Butler in a stop and search. 

To argue that the police officers were probably innocent or that the claims were vexatious is to miss the point.  According to The College of Policing Guidance, the application of rationality is itself an act of hostility and must be avoided. My accuser claimed that I was cut from the same cloth as Hitler for suggesting that a fake vagina is, in fact, a fake vagina in that it does not connect to a cervix. And when the barrister, Sarah Phillimore, tweeted “My cat is a Methodist,” the police recorded this as evidence of hate, arguing that the equation with felines suggested that Wesleyans were in the habit of wandering across private gardens, peeing on the pot plants and defecating in the rhubarb. 

It’s not on the elemental chart. It’s not fucking real

Not only does the double standard strike a further blow to the increasingly quaint notion that the police are the public, it also demonstrates a mocking contempt for the legacy of Stephen Lawrence. The MacPherson Report demanded that the police keep a close check on its attitudes. In a breathtaking perversion of this recommendation, The Met has chosen to give a pass to its own attitudes, preferring instead to wage a war on the thought life of the public.

Explaining the hypocrisy forces us to accept one of two stark realities.  Option One is that The Met has made the conscious decision to mask its internal bigotry because of an enduring love for its racists, homophobes, transphobes, Islamophobes and those who would delight in messing with the brakes on a wheelchair.

Option Two is that the police have considered the utility of NCHIs and concluded that in spite of the claims of The College of Policing that they are vital indicators in the fight to stop murder and genocide, they are, in fact, indicators of nothing at all. The Wolf of Wall Street sums it up nicely:

McConaughey: You know what Fugazi is?

Di Caprio: Fugayzi. It’s fake.

McConaughey: Fugayzi, fugazi. It’s a woozy. It’s fairy dust. It doesn’t exist. It’s never landed. It is no matter. It’s not on the elemental chart. It’s not fucking real. 

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