Police log race storm David Starkey interview as a 'hate incident'

Police log race storm David Starkey interview with Darren Grimes as a ‘hate incident’

  • The incident will still be recorded as a hate crime allegation by the police
  • Metropolitan Police dropped case after backlash from free speech campaigners 
  • In the interview Dr Starkey said: ‘Slavery was not genocide otherwise there wouldn’t be so many damn blacks in Africa or in Britain, would there?’

A video chat between a pro-Brexit pundit and David Starkey in which the historian used the phrase ‘damn blacks’ is to be officially recorded as a ‘non-crime’ hate incident despite the investigation being dropped.

Darren Grimes was interviewed by police on suspicion of stirring up racial hatred after Dr Starkey appeared on the Brexiteer commentator’s Youtube channel.

But the Metropolitan Police dropped the case after a backlash from free speech campaigners and withdrew their invitation to interview Mr Grimes and Dr Starkey under caution.

They confirmed no further action was being taken and that no offence took place.

However, the incident will still be recorded as a hate crime allegation, police said yesterday, and could show up on future checks.

Darren Grimes was interviewed by police on suspicion of stirring up racial hatred after Dr Starkey (pictured) appeared on the Brexiteer commentator’s Youtube channel 

‘In accordance with the Home Office counting rules, this matter remains recorded as an allegation of hate crime,’ a Met spokesman said. 

‘However, as a result of the investigation, this matter has been recorded as a non-crime and no further action is being taken.’

The interview in question, which appeared on Mr Grimes’s Reasoned UK YouTube Channel on June 30, came at a time when Black Lives Matter protests were occurring regularly around the country following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. 

Dr Starkey had told Mr Grimes: ‘Slavery was not genocide otherwise there wouldn’t be so many damn blacks in Africa or in Britain, would there?’

Last night Mr Grimes tweeted: ‘The Metropolitan Police say they have, even after dropping their investigation into the vexatious claim that I stirred up racial hatred for interviewing somebody, recorded the incident as a non-crime hate crime. Adding to the UK’s hate crime (thought crime) stats. Utterly insane.’

Scotland Yard has dropped its ‘race hate’ probe into Darren Grimes (pictured) and David Starkey after ill-judged remarks were made during an interview given during the Black Lives Matter protests 

Mr Grimes, 27, said yesterday that his solicitor and the Free Speech Union will look into ‘judicially reviewing this decision by the police and hopefully force a rethink.’

He added: ‘This move by the police could preclude me from seeking employment as a teacher or a carer in the future, it will now show up on my criminal record if an employer carries out an enhanced DBS check.

‘I’ll be calling on Priti Patel and the Conservative Party to remind British policing that they are not the Stasi, the Cheka or the Gestapo.’

Several commentators have already spoken out against the decision from Scotland Yard.

Douglas Murray, the associate editor at the Spectator Magazine, said: ‘Non-crime hate incidents are a totalitarian absurdity. Any conservative government worth the name should strip this nonsense from the system.’

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