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Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have a question about policing or the law? You may be able to find the answer here.

Through our frequently asked questions section we aim to help you find the answers you need without having to call us to ask for information. We've provided answers to questions on a range of topics which are regularly asked of police forces up and down the country.

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Basically, the law is as follows:

It is an offence to use threatening behaviour or words which are intended to stir up religious hatred or hatred on the grounds of sexual orientation. The law covers the spoken word and written material, including plays, recordings, visual images or audio sounds.

The legislation makes specific mention that the law does not affect freedom of speech and that it is still permissible to criticise, discuss or dislike a religious belief system or sexual orientation.

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Answers in this FAQ section are provided by the 'Ask the Police' website. Produced by the Police National Legal Database (PNLD) team, 'Ask the Police' is an official police site approved by the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC). All FAQ answers are © PNLD.