Over in the UK, the scenic location of Hebden Bridge in West Yorkshire became the unexpected stage for controversy when a 73-year-old retired social worker was set upon by police in her own home for taking a photograph of a sticker bearing the words “Keep males out of women-only spaces.” Here’s the whole story.
“Keep Males Out of Women-Only Spaces”
A 73-year-old retired social worker in Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire, was questioned by police after photographing a sticker that read “Keep males out of women-only spaces.”
Somebody had placed the sticker on an LGBT+ pride poster with the slogan Stand By Your Trans.
In what critics call a misuse of police powers, officers used CCTV footage to identify and approach the woman. The senior citizen, wishing to remain anonymous due to fears of online backlash, relayed her profound shock to The Daily Mail.
She Merely Photographed the Sticker as She Agreed With Its Stance
This incident in Hebden Bridge has stirred debates around policing priorities, especially relevant given a report last month that has shown UK police departments, on average, fail to investigate the majority of significant “lesser” crimes, such as burglaries.
Speaking of the encounter, the woman said she had merely photographed the sticker as she agreed with its stance on restricting transgender women from women-exclusive spaces.
She did not post this photograph online but intended to share it privately with her partner.
“They Are Getting Involved in a Very Divided and Toxic Debate”
Just days later, two West Yorkshire Police officers visited her home. As she cared for her seriously ill partner, “They gave me a long lecture about the sensitivity of the issue and how something like this could cause harassment and alarm to the community,” she explained.
“I think they wanted to correct my thinking,” she recounted. “They are getting involved in a very divided and toxic debate, but it’s not their role to arbitrate political disagreements. I felt as if they were trying to gag a dissenting voice by harassing me in my own home.”
Stand By Your Trans
The older woman suspected that her identification resulted from a previous correspondence with the LGBT+ community group Happy Valley Pride. Earlier, this group placed the Stand By Your Trans poster outside the town hall.
The retrieved police log, accessed via a data request, stated that the officers had advised her regarding the potential “harassment and alarm” such a sticker might cause.
West Yorkshire stands out as a region with one of the UK’s highest crime rates. According to official data, over 90% of the criminal cases in the area remain unresolved.
Seven Officers Overpowering the Girl
The same police force was severely criticized just last month for another incident. An autistic 16-year-old girl in Leeds was apprehended for remarking that a short-haired officer looked like her “lesbian nana.” A video clip displaying seven officers overpowering the girl spread like wildfire online, bringing a lot of attention to the department. The accusation of a “homophobic public-order offense” against the girl was later dismissed.
Harry Miller, a retired police officer, denounced this recent police intervention as “thought policing.”
“How Can a Woman Photographing a Sticker Cause Alarm and Distress to the Happy Valley Pride Community?”
Establishing the free-speech advocacy group Fair Cop after a personal brush with law enforcement over a limerick about transgender women, Miller stated, “How can a woman photographing a sticker cause alarm and distress to the Happy Valley Pride community? There is politically correct rot at the heart of West Yorkshire policing.”
Stella O’Malley, the founder of Genspect and a renowned psychotherapist, echoed similar sentiments. She stated, “It’s not the job of the police to decide that taking a photo is a hate crime.”
“Words of Advice Were Given Regarding the Placing of the Sticker”
In response to the whirlwind of criticism, West Yorkshire Police clarified that the episode had been recorded as a ‘non-crime hate incident.’ They further added, “Words of advice were given regarding the placing of the sticker, as it was reported to have caused offense.”
It remains to be seen how much further the lines between safeguarding citizens and intruding upon their personal freedoms will continue to blur.
The post Trans Rights vs. Free Speech – Elderly Woman’s Photo Ignites Police Controversy in the UK! first appeared on The Net Worth Of.
Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / Krakenimages.com. The people shown in the images are for illustrative purposes only, not the actual people featured in the story.
Source: Daily Mail