Police in Fife urged people to report stickers said to be related to a hate crime – before removing a tweet after it was found no laws had been broken.
Kirkcaldy Police said – in a now deleted tweet – there was a report of a hate crime involving “controversial” stickers on lampposts in Viewforth Avenue on Monday May 17, and asked people to contact Fife Council so they could be removed.
However, officers have since said that no criminality was established following inquiries.
The stickers promote the group For Women Scotland (FWS) and displayed hashtags including #waronwomen, #sexnotgender and #nopubertyblockers.
Scotland 2021: Where this sticker is deemed “controversial” by our national police force. Yet our First Minister claims to be a feminist. Confused? Not as much as the women of Scotland. 🤦🏼♀️🤣 #WomenWontWheesht pic.twitter.com/aW0h0khbfz
— Susan Dalgety (@DalgetySusan) May 23, 2021
Susan Smith, director of For Women Scotland said the organisation, which was founded in 2018, did not produce or distribute the stickers.
Who are For Women Scotland?
For Women Scotland’s website says: “We believe that there are only two sexes, that a person’s sex is not a choice, nor can it be changed.
“Women are entitled to privacy, dignity, safety and fairness. Our legal rights should be protected and strengthened.
“We campaign on a positive, pro-women basis and call for evidence-based discussion and legislation.”
Police investigation ‘chilling’
Ms Smith said on Sunday: “For Women Scotland do not produce stickers, however, we know that many people express support for us and other women’s groups and we are very grateful.
“The images we have seen are of stickers which express the sentiment that women will not remain silent in conversations about our bodies or our rights.
“The idea that this is ‘controversial’ or requires investigation by the police is chilling.”
Hate Crime Bill
It comes after MSPs approved a new hate crime bill earlier this year.
It was created to simplify and clarify the law by bringing together various existing hate crime laws into a single piece of legislation.
Under the bill, offences are considered “aggravated” if they involve prejudice on the basis of age, disability, race, religion, sexual orientation or transgender identity.
It also creates new offences of “stirring up hatred” – which previously applied only to race.
Critics of the new law said it could damage free speech rights.
“Inquiries were carried out and no criminality has been established.”