Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Impeccable Timing, Inspector!

Just as Inspector Gadget posts a shocking exposé of the current situation regarding police resourcing (basically, there’s no money, no equipment and it’s shocking how the back-room officers can still afford to bang on about diversity while those at the front end can’t concentrate on ‘ordinary crime’), this happens:
Mr Murray said the two uniformed officers from Lancashire Constabulary arrived at lunchtime on Monday, the cafe’s busiest time of day. WPC June Dorrian, the community beat manager, told him there had been a complaint and he was breaching the Public Order Act 1986.

Mr Murray said: ‘I told them that all that appeared on the screen were the words of the New Testament. There is no sound, just the words on the screen and simple images in the background of sheep grazing or candles burning. I thought there might be some mix-up but they said they were here to explain the law to me and how I had broken it.

‘I said, “Are you really telling me that I am facing arrest for playing the Bible?” and the WPC fixed me with a stare and said, “If you broadcast material that causes offence under the Public Order Act then we will have to take matters further. You cannot break the law.”

Mr Murray, who worked in a homeless shelter for five years before taking over the cafe three months ago, said he realised the only way to appease the police was to pull the plug on the Bible.

‘I was worried about being handcuffed and led out of the shop in front of my customers. It wouldn’t have looked good so I thought it was better to comply. It felt like a betrayal. They left the shop and told me they would continue to monitor if we were displaying inflammatory material. At no stage had they spoken to me like I was a law-abiding citizen trying to earn a living. I felt like a criminal.’
You’ll note that these weren’t those HQ office-based staff that the good Inspector blames for all the diversity madness.

These were the front line.
The Christian Institute, which is supporting Mr Murray, said its lawyers had told him he is free to display the Bible in any way he chooses, and they are preparing a complaint against the police.
Good. Because it’s the only way they’ll ever stop; when this sort of thing attracts adverse consequences, rather than a tick on the ol’ diversity-friendly box on their annual assessment…
The Institute’s spokesman Mike Judge said: ‘I have no problem with the police looking into a complaint, but once they realised it was just the words of the Bible being shown on the screen then they should have walked away.

‘They did not even look at the offending DVD. They simply told Mr Murray that he had to stop showing the Bible and warned him that they would continue to monitor what he was doing. This is intimidatory and completely unacceptable.

‘It is a problem right across the country that the police are under huge political pressure to be seen to respond to anything homophobic.’
The police are, as might be expected, all ‘What? Us? Surely not, oh no, we’d never do that…’:
Lancashire Police said they had received a complaint on Saturday afternoon from a female customer who was ‘deeply offended’ by the words she had seen on the screen.

A spokesman said they were ‘duty bound’ to respond to the complaint and had concluded the cafe could be in breach of Section 29E of the Public Order Act, which warns that people who play images or sounds that stir up hatred against homosexuals could be guilty of an offence.

However, it also says criticism of sexual conduct ‘shall not be taken of itself to be threatening or intended to stir up hatred’.
Maybe they didn’t read that far..? Or didn't understand it?

They are relying on the time-old tactic of flat-out denying the impression Mr Murray clearly took of the encounter:
A police spokesman said: ‘At no point did the officer ask the cafe owner to remove any materials or arrest the man and we took a commonsense and objective approach in dealing with the complaint.

We believe our response and the action we took was completely proportionate and our officers are always available should the cafe owner want to discuss the matter or need any advice in the future.

‘The Constabulary is respectful of all religious views. However, we do have a responsibility to make sure that material that communities may find deeply offensive or inflammatory is not being displayed in public.

No complaint has been received about the conduct of the officer in question and we are satisfied that they performed their duties professionally.’
Well, you must have received one by now…

33 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sad old life. Glad I live overseas now.

This is what the Tonys, Pollys, Moonbats and all the other excessively 'caring' & 'lets control everything' types have achieved over the last 30 years.

Unintended consequences? Only if you are blind and stupid.

And no, I don't eat babies, nor advocate eliminating all benefits nor shipping immigrants back wholesale.

SBC said...

If it had been me then the minute the Thought Policey men were out the door this quote would have gone up on the screen:

"Do you indeed approach men with desire instead of women? Rather, you are a people behaving ignorantly."

"Really Officer, you're demanding i take down a quote from the Quran....? "

Henry Crun said...

Unless the cafe owner was displaying the Australian Outback version in which:

and Jesus said unto the disciples, "Rule three. NOOOOOOOO POOFTAHS!"

I honestly don't see what could have caused the offence.

"If thine eye offends thee, cut it out"

SBC said...

"I honestly don't see what could have caused the offence."

To be fair to our great british policemen..and women...the telling phrase in the account is:

'WPC fixed me with a stare and said, “If you broadcast material that causes offence under the Public Order Act then we will have to take matters further. You cannot break the law.”

That whole 'go steely eyed and recite the law' is a favourite tatic when they find themselves in situations like that, in situations where the officer is seething inside at having to yet again been sent out to deal with a non-crime reported by the Offended and Politically Correct.

Legally they couldn't tell him to unplug it and they didn't, so the senior officer is totally correct....they just gave him the impression that they did.

What senior officers don't realize is that by making their Farce 'police' such non-crimes they further weaken any public trust in the police as a whole. The public will only remember the headline that, once again, the policey men demanded someone take down a bible quote.

Anonymous said...

I can't defend this so I won't try.But had I been sent I would have said hello to the nice people,got my free tea and bacon roll and told my control room not to bother sending anyone to this cafe ever again.
Jaded

Mick Turatian said...

And wouldn't it be refreshing if Lancs. constabulary went after the complainant for wasting police time?

Captain Haddock said...

This story and another one recently ... http://thylacosmilus.blogspot.com/2011/09/if-pcsos-have-time-for-this-they-arent.html

serve to demonstrate that certain members of the Police now appear to view themselves as arbiters of what is and what isn't "acceptable" .. regardless of what the actual Law has to say about it ..

Its high time for the Chief constables of Britain's Police Forces (so that they can filter the facts downwards) to be reminded that the Police are there to enforce the Law as it is written .. and not as they choose to interpret it on a personal basis ..

Weekend Yachtsman said...

Why didn't he just say "See you in court"?

Make mine streaky said...

What if a paid-up member of the RoP had wandered in to the cafe and seen bacon sandwiches on the menu as well as quote from the Bible?

Dear God, think of the repercussions then!

Trevor said...

Lancashire Police said they had received a complaint on Saturday afternoon from a female customer who was ‘deeply offended’ by the words she had seen on the screen.

Let us pray that this person of gender made it to hospital in time and that her eyes, ears and psyche can begin to recover from the trauma of being exposed to ideas which she happens not to agree with. It can be touch-and-go in these cases.

Julia, I have been profoundly affected by the ishoos in this post yet can find no mention of a helpline offering appropriate counselling. I'm sure this was an oversight on your part.

SBC said...

"Why didn't he just say "See you in court"?"

The sentence "Officer *insert badge number*, you do realize that for security purposes I video everything in here?...and that the video of this conversation is being live streamed to the web?"

Would probably be the more effective.

microdave said...

"And that the video of this conversation is being live streamed to the web"

Would be the far more effective of the two - if he just said it was being videoed the plod would undoubtedly have tried to confiscate the evidence...

Lynne said...

Obviously there was a serious shortage of real crime on the streets of Blackpool that day (if you believe that I have a nice beach front tower you might like to buy). That or the plod urgently needed to tick the diversity box on her daily target sheet.

I find the government extremely offensive. If I complain to the plod will they be so obliging for me?

John Pickworth said...

You know, I was only part way through the second paragraph before saying to myself "I bet this is Blackpool"?

Yeah, Blackpool it is. Previously famed for its tower and piers. And if they don't delight; there are thrills a plenty from the myriad moral hazards and Behavioural Compliance Police to be found amongst the candy floss and kiss me quick hats.

Yeah, Blackpool. The place where the police threaten to shoot kids at Christmas and where the neighbouring town arrest Christians who dare to challenge the new doctrine.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not a Christian; in fact I'm gay - just to twist the irony further. But I'm not threatened by someone thumping a Bible telling me to repent. Nor do I want agents of the State and the progressive do-gooders meddling in the affairs of others on my behalf.

"I have no problem with the police looking into a complaint, but once they realised it was just the words of the Bible being shown on the screen then they should have walked away."

But that's the problem isn't it? They can't walk away. The have to meddle no matter what common-sense tells them.

SBC said...

"‘The Constabulary is respectful of all religious views." No you Dipshit, your oath is to be respectful of the person....even if they are a total cunt/hookhanded bearded nutjob/ Kiddy fiddler or even a Labour voter There is no mention of respecting whatever sky being they believe in.

Infact this bit of your attestation "with fairness, integrity, diligence and impartiality" indicates that the last thing you should do is be respectful of any faith or political persuasion.

MTG said...

"Got a licence for that Bible, mate?"

Dumb enough to end up with a plod job but just smart enough to avoid any real hazards and risks.

dickiebo said...

'...we are satisfied that they performed their duties professionally.’
Err, no point in complaining then, is there?

John Pickworth said...

I can't help wondering if the Salt & Light Cafe might attract less attention from the authorities if it was renamed The Lo-Sodium & CFL Tube Cafe?

blueknight said...

You’ll note that these weren’t those HQ office-based staff that the good Inspector blames for all the diversity madness.

These were the front line.

You are right. All I can say in their 'defence' is that all ranks of the police were subjected to Nulabor brainwashing and the Con Lib pact has not done much to change things. Anyone that joined less than ten years ago knows nothing else. And that would be an awful lot of Officers

Anonymous said...

Had I been sent to this I would said hello to these nice people,accepted my usual free bacon roll and cup of tea.I would have radioed the control room and told them "nothing to see,move along now".
I can't defend this story so I won't.
Jaded

Anonymous said...

There were no barriers to jump over....and after an unwavering defence of police who murdered Jean Charles de Menezes, you are certainly entitled to a short lie vacation, Jaded.

Anonymous said...

Yes this story is exactly the same as the Stockwell shooting isn't it Melvin? That's why we can't have a sensible debate on policing.
Why don't you ask why the police didn't push the cafe owner over like Tomlinson,or tip him out of his wheelchair?
Jaded

Anonymous said...

"That's why we can't have a sensible debate on policing."

Take a leaf from Gadget's blog and feign one, my dear.

Anonymous said...

I'm afraid you lost all credibility,even using long and clever words,when you defended the right of an illegal-immigrant child-rapist to stay in this country.
Jaded

Anonymous said...

Yes, Jaded, it does irritate you when folk of integrity insist upon strict adherence to agreed rules.

For such as you, it highlights a 24 carat difference between honesty and infamous plod evidence dealt from the bottom of the pack.

Anonymous said...

Get into a pleasant and positive state of mind at the start of the day, Jaded.

I strongly recommend waking to the sound of Bach and the flavours of hot tea and buttered toast.

Woman on a Raft said...

Given the large number of gay hotels in Blackpool and that the cafe is explicitly Christian, it is highly likely that this customer went looking for a fight but didn't fancy having one in either a Christian bookshop or a local church.

As with the Chymorva hotel case it is simply inconceivable that this was complaint which arose from a chance cup of coffee. I smell somebody setting up a compo claim.

Woman on a Raft said...

Don't know if I mentioned this, but a month ago I went past a school in the holidays with the alarms going off. I attempted to call the published non-emergency number (I was guessing that any scrotes had long gone and therefore it wasn't worth ringing 999) but couldn't get any reply at all.

Luckily, a few minutes later I spotted a police car out on the bypass and was able to flag it down and pass on a message.

If I thought that my crime-call had gone unanswered because police officers were off having theological disputes about which they clearly know jack (St Paul upsets everyone and has been doing that for nearly 2,000 years and he's dead) then I would be most displeased.

MTG said...

@ Jaded

"I'm afraid you lost all credibility,even using long and clever words.."

Educated people are at least bi-lingual. I suggest that you look to your own credibility in this confessed inability to master one language.

JuliaM said...

"This is what the Tonys, Pollys, Moonbats and all the other excessively 'caring' & 'lets control everything' types have achieved over the last 30 years."

And they don't seem to have finished yet...

"What senior officers don't realize is that by making their Farce 'police' such non-crimes they further weaken any public trust in the police as a whole. "

Yup, but as Gadget's always saying, they don't need the public's trust any more. Because they no longer work for the public.

"I can't defend this so I won't try.But had I been sent I would have said hello to the nice people,got my free tea and bacon roll and told my control room not to bother sending anyone to this cafe ever again."

And that was how the police USED to keep the public trust. Now, however, it's the WPC June Dorrians of this world who get on, by doing this sort of thing...

"Why didn't he just say "See you in court"?"

Because, like any normal law-abiding person, he probably thought if the police were telling him something was against the law, they were telling the truth.

JuliaM said...

"...yet can find no mention of a helpline offering appropriate counselling. I'm sure this was an oversight on your part."

Heh!

I always loathe that little disclaimer on TV shows now, that starts 'If you have been affected by these scenes...'

When did we get so fragile?

"But I'm not threatened by someone thumping a Bible telling me to repent. Nor do I want agents of the State and the progressive do-gooders meddling in the affairs of others on my behalf. "

And most black people aren't at all offended by golliwogs. But white middle-class liberals are ever ready to take up cudgels to 'protect' them.

And don't get me started on loony feminists out to 'protect' me from Page 3!

"Anyone that joined less than ten years ago knows nothing else. And that would be an awful lot of Officers"

Depressing thought! :(

"As with the Chymorva hotel case it is simply inconceivable that this was complaint which arose from a chance cup of coffee. I smell somebody setting up a compo claim."

Could well be...

Angry Exile said...

"... he realised the only way to appease the police was to pull the plug on the Bible."

Appease the police? I'm no fan of the god squad but FFS, this is a bit 'peace in our time' isn't it? And the police aren't Neville Chamberlain.

Anonymous said...

And if the police had not gone round to speak to the cafe owner, the 'aggrieved lady' would be selling her version to the world.

She would be saying "how can the homosexual community have faith in the police when they did nothing about that cafe owner broadcasting his 'hate-speech'?" That is the problem with the police trying to keep everyone happy.

There is another post-thread where someone is saying the police should be billed for not investigating complaints....if the police ignored this lady complainant would they also have to pay her?