JUST how free are we in the UK? Not as free as we think we are. Last week Harry Miller went to court to challenge what he saw as an over the top police reaction to his allegedly transphobic Tweets. He also challenged the College of Police operational guidelines about the recording of hate incidents.

The High Court ruled in Miller’s favour in terms of the reaction, the visiting of him at his workplace for Tweets that were not criminal, and for the treatment he received from Humberside police, which included an officer telling Miller that, "We need to check your thinking".

Mr Justice Knowles condemned the police and said the effect of their actions must not be underestimated. He added: "In this country we have never had a Cheka, a Gestapo or a Stasi. We have never lived in an Orwellian society".

Despite this ruling that to some extent defends freedom of speech I would beg to differ with Justice Knowles on his final assessment. Miller’s challenge was not only about his treatment but the wider recording of "hate incidents". On this matter Miller lost and the same judge who waxed lyrically about the Orwellian society defended the recording of hate incidents.

A hate incident can be a non-criminal incident that is reported to the police. It can be not only non-criminal, it does not have to be proven or need evidence, rather it is something that is recorded simply based on the reporting by the alleged victim or any other person.

Say, for example, I decide to report you, the reader, to the police for a hate incident. It will be recorded as a hate incident. The hate incident is then in the system and if applying for work that needs a police check, like almost any public sector job for example, the incident will pop up and you may well not get the job. The current rate of recorded hate incidents is 25,000 a year and there are believed to be 120,000 recordings on police records around the country to date. That number will no doubt continue to spiral.

And so we find ourselves in a situation where whoever you are, white, black, male, female, trans and so on, and whatever your beliefs are and indeed whatever you have done, including nothing at all, or in Harry Miller’s case, nothing that is criminal and indeed something that a High Court judge robustly defends in court – you could still end up on a police hate record and have your life and work prospects potentially destroyed.

You’ll excuse me, Justice Knowles, but this, to me, is a system of thought policing that the Gestapo, Stasi and an Orwellian society would be justly proud and I challenge any politician in this country to defend this corruption of the justice system.