It has been announced that the law related to the use of “insulting” language will be changed only for the occasions when a specific victim is being abused.
Due to the words of Theresa May the idea is that the term “insulting” needs to be removed from the part of the Public Order Act 1986 which reads: “A person is guilty of an offence if he uses threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour”.
The aim of this campaign is to prove that sometimes police uses this law in order to arrest people with no other offences committed.
An example of this was a student who got arrested because of saying the police horse was gay. However, in the end he was not found guilty.
Last November the House of Lords voted on the removal of the word “insulting” from the act. The final result was 150 votes pro and 54 votes against the removal.
Today Theresa May said that in the end the amendment to the law would not be challenged.
No matter that policed claims this law is being “valuable” for maintaining order, Theresa said that the current state of the legislation was interfering with the public’s right to freedom of expression.
“Looking at past cases the director of public prosecutions could not identify any where the behaviour leading to a conviction could not be described as abusive as well as insulting,” said May.
“He has stated that the word insulting could safely be removed without the risk of undermining the ability of the CPS to bring prosecutions.”
Despite everything, if the victim is clearly identifiable it will still be against the law to use insulting language.