Since it was a night time crime there is a natural assumption that drink was involved. Even the Community Support Officer (a 'CSO' or a policeman) who turns up to investigate makes this assumption. I am not so sure. It takes some thinking or at least some logical process to walk along the street, see a German car and scratch 'Nazi' into the bonnet ('Hood' in American), walk further along the road (assuming this was the timeline) and then scratch 'Frog' (see photo) down the side of the French made Espace. I would say the person was both thinking and motivated. But just what were they thinking? I spent a couple of minutes trying to think what would make someone act in such a way but came up empty.
For the purpose of the police crime figures, the CSO in attendance informed us that this was to be recorded as a 'Race Hate' crime. Further investigation on my part reveals that a government website says this of 'Race Crime':
- Race crime doesn't just mean when someone becomes a victim because of the colour of their skin. It also includes nationality, culture and language. Any racial hate crime that is reported to the police is treated seriously, even if it could be classed as a minor incident, because of the fear that racist crime can create within communities.
Further investigation of the 'Race Hate' concept leaves me even more disturbed since the Government website goes on..."If it's proven that the offender's main motivation was based on prejudice or their hatred of another race, then the sentence can be more severe than for the same offence without a racial motivation."
So a plain old stupid drunken vandal gets a lessor sentence than one who is a racist (and probably drunk and stupid as well). Not only does it seem that introducing the concept of 'racism' as a motivation into policing is distorting crime statistics but viewing crime through the prism of 'race' is distorting criminal sentencing. The police should treat crime for what it is, not try to layer on motivation for colour of skin, nationality, culture and language. This is yet another example of the sloppy thinking that has destabilised efficiency and effectiveness in UK local government (see here).