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It's crass, it's tasteless - but is it a crime?

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It's crass, it's tasteless - but is it a crime?

Old 15th Apr 2019, 08:41
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It's crass, it's tasteless - but is it a crime?

Take a look at this story from the BBC News website:-

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-47933951

It without a doubt it fits both of the categories in the header, but a crime?

We already lock up far too many people in the Universities of Crime that we laughingly refer as institutions where we train and educate inmates away from a path of criminality and I can't see why prosecuting this vile individual, and in the process give him the publicity he so obviously craves serves any useful purpose. Back in the pre-internet, pre instant video age this sort of black humour would have been shared, harmlessly between people down the pub.

The best thing that could possibly done would surely be to ignore him completely and ensure that his warped sense of humour (if that what it is) is shared only among people of like mind to his.

Similar could be said about people have offended the "professionally offended" on the internet.
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Old 15th Apr 2019, 09:40
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I remember shortly after the Aberfan disaster a club comedian saying on stage that his act had done so well there the previous week that it had brought the mountain down. He was quite rightly booed off the stage and I doubt if he picked up his fee that evening, but I don't think he was prosecuted. Being an offensive idiot should not be a crime - the courts are busy enough already
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Old 15th Apr 2019, 09:42
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Meanwhile real crimes go uninvestigated and real criminals get off scot-free because of finite resources
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Old 15th Apr 2019, 10:09
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Originally Posted by Dan Dare View Post
Meanwhile real crimes go uninvestigated and real criminals get off scot-free because of finite resources
Exactly what I'm inclined to think; that and chasing after "closure" for those alleged to have been offended against, long after the death alleged perpetrator.
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Old 15th Apr 2019, 10:15
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Bad taste is not a crime, neither is burning an effigy of something as lets face it Lewes Bonfire night would be prosecuted as would Loyalist's in NI on a yearly basis.

The fact that people don't like it is irrelevant.

Post Kings Cross fire in 1987 I was going along to see an Arsenal game, Man Utd fan but was in London and decided to go along and see it. Coming via Kings Cross one guy asked where the people's BBQ happen. Quite a few laughed embarrasingly until one guy just told him he was "a F*****g pr**k" and an embarassment for something like that. They were mates it appears and rest of jourmey they all spent taking the P out of him.

Anybody who knows anybody in emergency services will know the black humour they can come out with, especially when they personally involved in big incidents. Some say it isn't right but easy to say siting behind a keyboard.
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Old 15th Apr 2019, 10:37
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Originally Posted by Tankertrashnav View Post
Being an offensive idiot should not be a crime
And, equally, nobody has a right not to be offended.
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Old 15th Apr 2019, 11:26
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Originally Posted by DaveReidUK View Post
And, equally, nobody has a right not to be offended.
Which I guess roughly translated means everybody has a right to be offended?

Far too many snowflakes around looking for things to be offended by.

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Old 15th Apr 2019, 12:15
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Everyone talks about their rights, but no one talks about their responsibilities.
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Old 15th Apr 2019, 12:17
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Originally Posted by PJD1 View Post
Which I guess roughly translated means everybody has a right to be offended?
No, it means what I said, no translation required. Your proposition is something completely different.

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Old 15th Apr 2019, 12:44
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Originally Posted by DaveReidUK View Post
No, it means what I said, no translation required. Your proposition is something completely different.
How is it different? Your comment said "nobody has a right not to be offended". The use of a double negative means that is exactly the same as saying "everybody has a right to be offended"
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Old 15th Apr 2019, 13:12
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"I breathe when I sleep," must be about the same thing as "I sleep when I breathe," right?

Put differently, I think that what Dave said is that "Nobody has an [absolute] right to live free of being offended." Put that the other way and it becomes, "Everybody has to put up with a reasonable amount of offense."

You can't call someone a fat, smelly Dago and get away with that, probably, but this slighting reference to a tragedy will take a certain amount of effort to have it generate personal offense. I think it just shows the fellow who came up with this to be a common or garden-variety plonker.
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Old 15th Apr 2019, 13:53
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There is a theory in legal circles that no one can cause offence. It is the choice of the observer to feel offended.

I once suggested this this to my wife, in the course of a spirited, mainly one-sided, exchange of views. Unfortunately, she is not of a legal bent and chose to reject the theory. Her theory is that everything is my fault, regardless.
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Old 15th Apr 2019, 14:06
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I have a theory that the reason so many people get easily offended is because social media tends to create an environment for causing offence where none would normally exist.

This tasteless private bonfire (it was in someone's private garden, with only friends present) wouldn't have been treated as a criminal offence if it wasn't for the video appearing on social media, and then being deliberately spread with the intention of causing outrage. I sometimes get the feeling that social media's only function in life is to cause outrage.
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Old 15th Apr 2019, 14:29
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It without a doubt it fits both of the categories in the header, but a crime?
Yes, if plod decides that it is. We may not agree.
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Old 15th Apr 2019, 14:35
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I sometimes get the feeling that social media's only function in life is to cause outrage.
Well it certainly serves little USEFUL purpose. I am firmly of the opinion in that on balance, taking everything into consideration, social media is a force for bad.

Yes, if plod decides that it is. We may not agree.
The law us supposed to be a force for the greater good; just because the plod decides to prosecute or pursue something doesn't necessarily make it good, right, or just. In this case one feels the police action has more to do with pressure (probably from social media) than it does from a desire to productively use police time and valuable, finite resources.
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Old 15th Apr 2019, 14:56
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I am not sure the 2 previous posts are accurate.
My understanding of our legal system is that plod gathers evidence and puts that to the CPS lawyers. CPS decides if it is possible a crime has been committed and a court makes the final decision on whether or not a crime has indeed been committed.
50 years ago, plod would have decided up to the committal to court and a police officer would have conducted the prosecution.
So, while the police may well have a lot of other accusations rightly thrown at them, blaming them for a decision on whether or not a crime has been committed is not valid.
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Old 15th Apr 2019, 15:00
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Originally Posted by chuks View Post
You can't call someone a fat, smelly Dago and get away with that, probably,
Yes you can if he is fat, overweight and you can run bravely away
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Old 15th Apr 2019, 15:18
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Originally Posted by KelvinD View Post
I am not sure the 2 previous posts are accurate.
My understanding of our legal system is that plod gathers evidence and puts that to the CPS lawyers. CPS decides if it is possible a crime has been committed and a court makes the final decision on whether or not a crime has indeed been committed.
50 years ago, plod would have decided up to the committal to court and a police officer would have conducted the prosecution.
So, while the police may well have a lot of other accusations rightly thrown at them, blaming them for a decision on whether or not a crime has been committed is not valid.
Absolutely right, the police decide to investigate, the CPS is given facts as collected by the police and decides on whether a prosecution should go ahead. I seem to recall that some wags used to call the CPS the "Criminal Protection Service". Not sure if that was really warranted!
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Old 15th Apr 2019, 15:24
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Originally Posted by PJD1 View Post
How is it different? Your comment said "nobody has a right not to be offended". The use of a double negative means that is exactly the same as saying "everybody has a right to be offended"
It's a false equivalence, because "a right to be offended" has no meaning. You are turning an expression whose meaning is clear into a meaningless one.

It's a bit like saying that "everybody has a right to keep a pet cat" means the same as "nobody has a right not to keep a pet cat". Clearly the latter statement is nonsense.
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Old 15th Apr 2019, 15:25
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One thing the CPS has done is reduce the ability of a minority of police officers to prosecute without sound evidence, which is a good thing. I know that police officers often complain about the CPS choosing to not charge, or reduce a charge, but the bottom line is that if there isn't enough evidence to be able to give a reasonable prospect of conviction then it's up to the police to get more. I doubt I'm alone in having experienced unfounded prosecution by the police (before we had the CPS), and although the offence was minor and I was found not guilty, I'll not forget the words of the police officer to me outside the court, which were "I'd keep a good look out from now on, as we're going to get you sooner or later" (they never did, as I'd not done anything wrong in the first place). I hope there aren't still police officers who have this attitude now they don't make the decision to charge someone.
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