A hate crime awareness course which gave alleged offenders the chance to avoid prosecution has been scrapped by a police chief.
Hampshire Constabulary was among three forces in the country that ran the two-hour educational sessions for people accused of racism, sexism, misogyny and transphobia.
The restorative justice scheme was funded out of the force’s Police and Crime Commissioner’s budget, but faced controversy when a 51-year-old army veteran was offered the course after retweeting a meme – which showed four LGBT pride flags positioned to make a swastika.
He was told by police he could avoid prosecution if he took part in the session before they had conducted any investigation. He was subsequently released with no further action.
Donna Jones, Tory PCC for Hampshire, revealed on Sunday that she is ending the contract with the company which manages the programme as campaigners – including a former police officer who was also arrested during the incident – hailed the move as a victory over ‘woke coppers’.
She told The Telegraph: ‘I inherited a restorative justice contract when I was elected into office last year and the restorative hate-crime awareness course was part of that.
‘I have decided that this hate-crime awareness course will no longer be offered in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight by way of a community resolution option. The change needs to be planned properly but will take place in the coming weeks.