Mocking the Dear Leader an arrestable offence.

#1
According to Dod'n'Donkey a twenty-year old female gamekeeper was arrested at the Midland Game Fair last weekend: Horse and Hound website.

Looks like plod was after somebody to make an example of for taking the Celestial Steersman's name in vain, particularly as Bollocks to Blair shirts, badges, banners etc are pretty thick on the ground at rural events these days, I noticed a pair of plods wandering past a B2B banner on the Burgley coverage a few weeks ago without taking any notice.

“I asked the officers how they could arrest someone for wearing a T-shirt and they told me it was because it would offend a 70-80-year-old woman,”
I wonder if plod had actually had any complaints from offended 70 year old women? I know of at least one old biddy that regularly wears one of these shirts.

By the way, the local constabulary to Weston Park is Staffordshire, under the ever lovely Sir John Giffard, who appears to be beloved of the regime as he is to be heavily involved in the re-organisation of the local Police forces.
If you want to get an idea of what it will be like living in a rural area (such as Warwickshire when the police are merged with West Mids) after the "reforms" Staffs will probably be a good model. Most police resources are concentrated on the Potteries and the other towns and the rural areas are pretty much left to fend for themselves, unless of course they dare have a go at Bliar...
 
#2
Although its technically a s.5 Public Order Act offence (Harrassment, Alarm & Distress) I'd love to see a magistrate in a rural area do anything but throw it out at court. The constable has to warn the person first before arresting them.

For example, I once saw a person wearing a "Fcuk The Pope" T-shirt. I warned him that if he didn't take it off or turn it inside out so as to avoid causing offence he'd be arrested. He refused, got lippy and ergo was arrested, charged and convicted.

V!
 
#3
Wouldn't someone actually have to complain that they were offended before the police could act though?
 

maninblack

LE
Book Reviewer
#4
There was the case in late 1977 where the crown took action against the manager of the Virgin Store in manchester over the display for Never Mind The B0ll0cks (Sex Pistols)

If I remember correctly the case was Regina V Matrixbest Ltd and Barclay under the Obscene Publications Act

During the trial QC John Mortimer (of Rumpole fame) produced an expert witness who was an emeritus professor of linguistics or something similar who made a presentation about how the origins of the word related to monks tonsures being small round objects and that monks and priests often were associated with talking nonsense in the common parlance, hence the used of the B word to mean nonsense. The witness also wore a dog collar in court as he was also an ordained priest.

Case dismissed ergo there is case law to show that it is not obscene and therefore should only casue offence to the ill educated who are mistaken.
 
G

Goku

Guest
#5
Vegetius said:
For example, I once saw a person wearing a "Fcuk The Pope" T-shirt. I warned him that if he didn't take it off or turn it inside out so as to avoid causing offence he'd be arrested. He refused, got lippy and ergo was arrested, charged and convicted.

V!
http://www.meatandcheese.co.uk/main.htm

so most of these shirts are technically illegal?
 
#6
Two points I'd like to make here:

1. My Mom is 84 and likes nothing better than to go shopping in the summer with her T-shirt on which bears the slogan, "Stop staring at my t1ts!"

2. I find the sight of Phony Tony extremely offensive, so I'm thinking of getting up a petition to ban pictures of the cnut in public. In addition, I don't like to hear his voice, so I'd like him treated like Gerry Adams was treated by that small-minded, vindictive shitebag Thatcher and for his voice to be dubbed in interviews etc - preferably by Noel Gallagher.

MsG
 
#7
I like the cut of your jib maninblack. Unless of course that statement can be called obcene in which case let's just say I agree huh? :wink:
 
#8
Bladensburg said:
Wouldn't someone actually have to complain that they were offended before the police could act though?
No, the likelihood of offence is sufficient. Having said that, the case law makes it pretty clear that there must be some realistic prospect of somebody being offended. So at a CA rally people wearing "Balls to Blair" T-shirts would be extremely unlikely to be offended and the police would be wasting their time even bothering.

Lots of T-shirts nowadays are technical section fives waiting to happen. Then again, the Human Rights Act, which guarantees freedom of expression, has muddied the waters somewhat. Therefore, you need to be pretty sensible when invoking the Public Order Act which I suspect some bored officers in rural forces might not be from what you are saying.

A classic section five is the apres-drunk yobbo as seen on many cop reality TV shows. He's effing and blinding in the street, is warned, ignores it and get's nicked. There's really no problem with this one, is there? Anybody could wander by and be offended by their behaviour. This is what section five is intended to be used for.

Coppers using it to make an example of people at political events is ugly in my humble. If I were supervising at such an event I would urge extreme restraint.

V!

Edit: Just for your delectation:

• Harassment, Alarm Or Distress (Sec. 5 Public Order Act 1984)
“A person is guilty of an offence if he uses threatening, abusive, insulting words or disorderly behaviour or displays any writing, sign or other visible representation which is threatening, abusive or insulting within the hearing or sight of person likely to be caused harassment, alarm or distress.”

This offence carries a maximum penalty of a £1000 fine. Nevertheless it also has its own statutory power of arrest. In order for this offence to have been committed, a person must use threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour, or may behaviour disorderly. S/he may alternatively display any writing, sign or other visible representation which is threatening, abusive or insulting within the hearing or sight of a person likely to be caused harassment, alarm or distress. An example of this offence would be a young man who shouts foul and abusive language at random passers-by.
 
#9
I want to get one of these T-shirts!

As pointed out I doubt the lady will be charged - what a waste of time.

She should sue for wrongful arrest and throw as much muck as possible at the arresting officer, constabulary and command chain, obtaining the names for all officers involved in the arrest and starting with the idiot who arrested her in the first place. This would surely upset some careers when the chief constable sees his force being mocked in the local press. I am sure that the crime statistics for Gloucestershire Constabulary would make an interesting comparision in terms of policing priorities...instances of violence against the person were 26 (per 1,000) as opposed to the English average of 16.5.

So, Chief Constable Dr Brain - get your finger out of your arrse and get a grip!
 
#10
I,ve seen Kent County Constabulary sorry Commando,Warn someone over an FCUK T before now. I think descretion needs to be applyed in these cases. Ok at a Stanna stairlift convention ok but outside a club on Sat night like this incident is just being petty minded. The bloke was,nt gobby or p***ed the bobby just took an exeption to him. Cnut!!
 
#11
#12
Personally, I find people wearing leery, offensive T-shirts are usually attention seeking tossers. Saying that, there is no law against being an attention seeking tosser (well not yet).

If somebody wore a "FCUK YOU!" T-shirt in a high street of a Friday lunchtime I'd personally be very happy to give him a s.5 warning. At 2AM outside a nightbclub? Not sure, don't think so. The bloke I mentioned earlier with FTP, well I think we can all agree that he was on offer too.

Every case turns on its own merits, the copper isn't the bloke who'll make the charging decision nor conviction. What does seem anecdotally apparent is that coppers in some forces seem to apply s.5 arbitrarily, which no doubt local defence lawyers are on top of. Where I work people are too busy to make a fuss about a vulgar French Connection T-shirt.

My favourite T-shirt was worn by a tanned, blonde goddess wandering down Fulham Road wearing a tiny denim mini-skirt, cowbody boots and a cropped T-shirt that said "All this and my Dad's loaded."

Quality.

V!
 
#13
I'm with you Veg. Can't stand sh1te-scrawled T shirts. Mate of mine has a 'Spank The Monkey' one (he's a member of Her Maj's Constabulary) and I can't help thinking its all a bit sad.
 
#15
Could you S.5 a Labourite wearing "Things can only get better" next time you see him canvassing please? I love daft legislation, it was a prime topic for our criminal law professor.
 
#16
Vegetius said:
My favourite T-shirt was worn by a tanned, blonde goddess wandering down Fulham Road wearing a tiny denim mini-skirt, cowbody boots and a cropped T-shirt that said "All this and my Dad's loaded."

Quality.

V!
Was that Cait?
 
#17
MrPVRd said:
I want to get one of these T-shirts!

As pointed out I doubt the lady will be charged - what a waste of time.

She should sue for wrongful arrest and throw as much muck as possible at the arresting officer, constabulary and command chain, obtaining the names for all officers involved in the arrest and starting with the idiot who arrested her in the first place. This would surely upset some careers when the chief constable sees his force being mocked in the local press. I am sure that the crime statistics for Gloucestershire Constabulary would make an interesting comparision in terms of policing priorities...instances of violence against the person were 26 (per 1,000) as opposed to the English average of 16.5.

So, Chief Constable Dr Brain - get your finger out of your arrse and get a grip!
Thing is it wouldn't be wrongful would it? unless there was no warning given.

Waste of time and money -yes, unlawful -no.

Though going to the press might work.
 
#19
MrPVRd said:
I want to get one of these T-shirts!!
Get in touch with:
PS Clothing Ltd
37 The Close, Charlton Marshall, Blandford Forum, Dorset, DT11 9PA
0870 2407837 tel/fax or www.pspolos.com
Simon Gardner is the chap to ask for. He sells B0ll0cks to Blair kit by the ton at Shows and Point to points etc. My 9 year old daughter is proud of her peaked cap with B2B splashed across the front of it!
 
#20
Vegetius said:
Although its technically a s.5 Public Order Act offence (Harrassment, Alarm & Distress) I'd love to see a magistrate in a rural area do anything but throw it out at court. The constable has to warn the person first before arresting them.

For example, I once saw a person wearing a "Fcuk The Pope" T-shirt. I warned him that if he didn't take it off or turn it inside out so as to avoid causing offence he'd be arrested. He refused, got lippy and ergo was arrested, charged and convicted.

V!
Not a dig at you or the law in general veg, but is it not the case (and if it isn't, it should be) the case that it should only be an offence if a 3rd party actually complains to the police that they were offended by the individuals expression of their views?

At the end of the day, you were the one who made the decision that the t-shirt in question may cause offence to certain sections of the population. Is it the police force's place to decide who and what may cause offence to others? Is it not up to the police to react when someone is actually[i/] offended.

Can you see what im getting at?

Not meant as a dig at you, just a general question about our 'liberal' laws that is open fopr debate.

A comment from PTP would be most welcome at this time.

Cheers

A_S
 

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