Police consider Katie Hopkins ‘hate speech’ inquiry

Katie Hopkins (Image from facebook.com/pages/Katie-Hopkins)
The specialist crime and investigations directorate of the Metropolitan Police is considering whether Sun columnist Katie Hopkins’ controversial piece on migrants breached the Public Order Act.

The consideration of a full investigation was triggered by a letter sent last week by the Society of Black Lawyers, which appealed to Met Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, saying Hopkins’ rant was inciting racial hatred.

In the wake of the Libyan migrant disaster, in which over 800 migrants lost their lives attempting to reach Europe, the columnist penned a piece titled “I’d use gunships to stop migrants.”

“NO, I don’t care. Show me pictures of coffins, show me bodies floating in water, play violins and show me skinny people looking sad,” she wrote.

“Make no mistake, these migrants are like cockroaches. They might look a bit ‘Bob Geldof’s Ethiopia circa 1984’, but they are built to survive a nuclear bomb. They are survivors.

“Once gunships have driven them back to their shores, boats need to be confiscated and burned on a huge bonfire.”

The group of lawyers said the piece violated the Public Oder Act which states it is a criminal offence to distribute or publish information which is threatening, abusive or insulting if they intend to stir up racial hatred.

READ MORE:UN human rights chief compares UK tabloids to ‘Nazi’ propaganda

Her column further sparked a petition for her sacking. It has so far garnered 296,000 signatures.

Last week the UN human rights commissioner Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein urged British authorities to ensure anti-immigrant sentiment would not be distributed in other tabloid papers.

He also called on European leaders to “take a firmer line on racism and xenophobia,” which he said “under the guise of freedom of expression, are being allowed to feed a vicious cycle of vilification, intolerance and politicization of migrants, as well as of marginalized European minorities such as the Roma.”

“This is not only sapping compassion for the thousands of people fleeing conflict, human rights violations and economic deprivation who are drowning in the Mediterranean. The nasty underbelly of racism that is characterizing the migration debate in an increasing number of EU countries, has skewed the EU response to the crisis,” he added.

“This vicious verbal assault on migrants and asylum seekers in the UK tabloid press has continued unchallenged under the law for far too long.”

Al Hussein further likened Hopkins’ words to Nazi propaganda, branding them “inflammatory and unacceptable.”

“The Nazi media described people their masters wanted to eliminate as rats and cockroaches. This type of language is clearly inflammatory and unacceptable, especially in a national newspaper. The Sun’s editors took an editorial decision to publish this article, and – if it is found in breach of the law – should be held responsible along with the author.”

A Met Police spokesperson confirmed it had received complaints.

“We can confirm that we have received allegations of incitement to racial hatred.

“The matter has been passed to assistant commissioner Patricia Gallon at the specialist crime and investigations directorate for consideration. There have been no arrests.”