Finally, our useless CPS are getting to grips with what may or may not be said on Twitter, Facebook and other social media. After hundreds of arrests by our precious boys in blue, because someone has been "offended" by what they chose to read, the basic guidelines are now as follows:
You may be rude, offensive, shocking, disturbing, satirical, iconoclastic and distasteful.
Section 40 States:
- Against that background, prosecutors should only proceed with cases
under section 1 of the Malicious Communications Act 1988 and section 127
of the Communications Act 2003 where they are satisfied there is
sufficient evidence that the communication in question is more than:
- Offensive, shocking or disturbing; or
- Satirical, iconoclastic or rude comment; or
- The expression of unpopular or unfashionable opinion about serious or trivial matters, or banter or humour, even if distasteful to some or painful to those subjected to it.
Article 10 of the European Human Rights Act must be upheld:
"Everyone has the right to freedom of expression. This right shall include the freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers ..."
Important stuff. No longer can you go running to the Police if you have chosen to be offended by my jokes about thick Scousers. No longer can you scream "kill the heretic!" if someone expresses different views or opinions than yourself. Those who seek to harass Social Media commentators would do well to take note that the CPS takes a very dim view of threatening or targeting specific individuals. That is, and remains, harassment.
Play nicely now.....