The arrest of another Christian street preacher could prove costly for the Met

Apr 30, 2021 by

by Julian Mann, Christian Today:

The arrest of a Christian street preacher in Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Uxbridge constituency has now become an issue in the election for London Mayor.

Commenting on a video posted by Christian Concern of Pastor John Sherwood’s arrest near Uxbridge tube station on 23 April, Laurence Fox, the Reclaim Party’s candidate for London Mayor, said on Twitter: ‘This is awful, Sadiq Khan’s two tier policing has to be stopped.’

The reference to ‘two tier policing’ reflects Fox’s view that the Metropolitan Police under current London Mayor Sadiq Khan prioritises the enforcement of political correctness over tackling the scourge of knife crime.

Yet, whatever happens in the election, the Met could have cause to regret the aggressive arrest of Pastor Sherwood. In July 2019, Pastor Oluwole Ilesanmi, supported by Christian Concern’s sister organisation, the Christian Legal Centre, won £2,500 in exemplary damages from the Met for ‘false arrest, imprisonment and unlawful detention’ after officers aggressively arrested him outside Southgate tube station. The officers claimed the pastor had made ‘Islamophobic’ comments.

According to the Met, Pastor Sherwood, 71, who had been preaching from Genesis 1, was ‘arrested on suspicion of an offence under Section 5 of the Public Order Act’ for ‘allegedly making homophobic comments’. If he is prosecuted, his lawyers could deploy the free speech defence in Section 29JA of the 1986 Act: ‘In this Part, for the avoidance of doubt, the discussion or criticism of sexual conduct or practices or the urging of persons to refrain from or modify such conduct or practices shall not be taken of itself to be threatening or intended to stir up hatred.’

Read here

See also:

Why are the police handcuffing street preachers? by Paul Coleman, spiked: British police are arresting and investigating people over entirely legal speech. This week police in Uxbridge, Greater London, handcuffed, arrested and detained a 71-year-old grandfather for fear he might have offended someone.

Marched off to the cells for preaching God’s wordby Peter Simpson, The Conservative Woman


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