Whistling ‘Bob the Builder’ logged by police as ‘hate incident’

A man has been landed with a police record after a neighbour accused him of ‘racial hatred’ for whistling the theme tune to popular children’s programme ‘Bob the Builder’.

Bedfordshire Police reportedly logged the allegation as a ‘non-crime hate incident’ (NCHI). More than 10,000 NCHIs were recorded by police in England and Wales last year.

Currently, College of Policing rules state that when someone claims they have been a victim of hatred, officers must keep a record against the name of the accused person even where no crime was actually committed.

Wasted resources

Responding to the incident, Rupert Matthews – the Police and Crime Commissioner for Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland – commented: “The police have got more than enough to do and if it is not a crime then we cannot be putting resources into it.

“The public is right to ask why are police investigating things that are not crimes.”

Harry Miller, a former police officer and the founder of the Fair Cop free speech group, told the Mail on Sunday that Bedfordshire Police had “completely lost the plot”.

Police record

Reporting on a Freedom of Information (FOI) response, the Mail on Sunday revealed that 10,840 NCHIs had been recorded by the police in England and Wales last year.

It reported that none of the 43 forces contacted could identify a single crime which had been solved as a result of logging such accusations.

In March, a separate FOI response revealed that 120,000 such incidents had been recorded by the police in England and Wales between 2014-2019.

NCHIs remain on file for six years and can show up if prospective employers carry out enhanced DBS checks, despite no crime having occurred.

Unfair punishment

In April, Home Secretary Priti Patel called for an investigation into the way the police record NCHIs.

A Home Office source said at the time: “If people are found to have done nothing wrong, the police shouldn’t punish them.”

Police officer

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