UK police arrested at least 3,395 people for ‘offensive’ online comments in 2016

UK police arrested at least 3,395 people for ‘offensive’ online comments in 2016

[Ed. – Remember, these aren’t threats or incitement. They’re offensive comments.  The police are very selective about whom they target too, allowing an Islamist, for example, and a transgender activist to be as offensive as they like without penalty.  The answer is not to start arresting those latter offenders.  It’s to stop arresting anyone.]

Figures obtained by The Times through the Freedom of Information Act reveal that 3,395 people across 29 forces were arrested last under section 127 of the Communications Act 2003, which makes it illegal to intentionally “cause annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety to another”, in 2016.

The true figure is likely to be significantly higher, as thirteen police forces refused to provide the requested information and two did not provide usable data.

Around half of the investigations were abandoned before being brought to prosecution, which critics say is an indication that the authorities are being excessively strict in their interpretation of the law’s restrictions on freedom of speech.

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Nevertheless, many forces have massively stepped up their focus on so-called trolls, with the number of arrests by West Midlands Police having increased by an astonishing 877 per cent since 2014.

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