A CANDIDATE for police commissioner has provoked anger by saying he would want to abolish the concept of hate crime.
Godfrey Bloom, UKIP candidate for Humberside Police, said: “If I’m elected commissioner I will not give policing priorities to any cultural or social minority who claim they should have preference.
“What I believe is that my police force, if I’m elected, will react with alacrity to any crime, especially violent crime, regardless of colour, creed or sexual orientation. I will not give priority to one group or another.
“If a white person bashes a brown person over the head, is that a hate crime? I don’t know. If someone bashes me over the head and they don’t say ‘I hate middle-class bald ********’, is that a hate crime? The whole thing is absurd. It has to stop and I will stop it.”
Mr Bloom, the UKIP MEP for Yorkshire, has been backed by his party.
A spokesman said: “The party’s position is somebody thumping somebody is a crime, whoever the victim is. We don’t understand why, if it’s an Asian hitting a black person and the black person says ‘It’s because I’m black’ the Asian should get a double tariff.
“We are all equal before the law and that has been a proud boast of British justice for centuries.”
He added: “We are not saying to a bunch of white hoodlums, ‘Go and beat up somebody black or Asian’, but what we are uncomfortable with is the victim of a crime saying you did it because of this reason and that suddenly doubles the tariff. To us that doesn’t seem fair.”
Hate crime is defined as any criminal offence which is perceived to be motivated by hostility or prejudice based on a personal characteristic. A total of 48,127 hate crimes were recorded in England, Wales and Northern Ireland in 2010.
Human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell said: “Godfrey Bloom doesn’t understand hate crimes and is therefore unfit to be a police commissioner. Hate crimes are not about preferencing anyone. They are a recognition that some crimes are motivated by hatred of particular groups of people, including black, Jewish, Muslim, disabled and gay people.”
A Home Office spokesman said: “Hate crime is unacceptable in a civilised society and we owe it to victims and their families to carry on the fight against hatred.”