British Police forces are failing to train officers on the importance of free speech, according to a new report by the Free Speech Union.
The report (pdf), entitled “The Urgent Need to Teach Police About Free Speech,” argues that police training is informed by critical social justice ideology and that there is a “deficiency in the way the police are trained on free speech issues.”
The Free Speech Union, set up by up by the associate editor of The Spectator Toby Young, supports self-styled defenders of free expression in England and Scotland.
The organisation submitted freedom of information (FoI) requests to all 41 English and Welsh police forces, asking them to send copies of any policies or training materials they held concerning their duty to comply with Article 10 of the Human Rights Act: Freedom of expression.
It found that 32 forces answered, though seven declined to answer on cost grounds. Of the remaining 25, 11 claimed to hold no information on the duty to comply with Article 10.
This meant that 78 percent of the police forces who responded are providing no training on Article 10, or inadequate training.
Read more: Report Warns Police Training Ignores Legal Protections for Free Speech