So this case is an interesting one, as I actually had the pleasure of sitting in on this case last year and it was a very juicy one.
In February 2020, the Administrative Court considered the case of a claimant who tweets extensively on the issue of trans rights. Although he describes himself as “gender critical”, his tweets are considered by many to be derogatory and transphobic.
Humberside Police decided to record an incident as a non-criminal hate incident and a plain clothes constable attended the claimant’s work to speak to him, and in a phone call that resulted, warned the claimant that if he ‘escalated’ matters, the police might take criminal action. No explanation of what escalation meant was given.
The High Court held that while the mere recording of a hate incident did not interfere with the claimant’s rights, the police had gone further. In going to his workplace to speak to him and warning him about the risk of criminal prosecution, this could deter him from expressing himself on transgender issues, constituting a disproportionate and unlawful interference with his right to freedom of expression.