Police statement on arrest of street preacher in Wimbledon

Further to this and this, I have now received confirmation of the basic details of the story from the police at Wimbledon.  My enquiry was as follows:

I read online a report that the police arrested a street preacher and held him for seven hours while quizzing him on his beliefs.  According to the report the reason given was that, in preaching about sin (which he was against), he mentioned homosexuality.  The report and a video may be found at the Archbishop Cranmer site.

May I ask whether the report is correct?  Is there a press release on this incident?

I received the following answer:

Police were called to Wimbledon Hill Road, SW19, at approximately 16.30hrs on Monday, 1 July, following reports of a man speaking through a public address system who was alleged to have made homophobic comments.

Officers attended and arrested the man, aged 49, on suspicion of offences under the Public Order Act.

He was taken to a south-west London police station and spoken to by officers before being released with no further action later the same day.

This more or less confirms all the statements made by the victim Tony Miano.

UPDATE: Cranmer has now posted the full transcript of the police interrogation here, which began four hours after his arrest, at eight minutes past nine at night, and concluded half an hour later.  In one respect it doesn’t quite confirm what Miano said, but, quite frankly, considering that he was grilled without having a record himself around 14 hours after he got up, we can forgive the lapse of memory.

The transcript reads like something out of the 17th century.  There is no question of the accused having done anything; it is what he thinks that is being questioned.  And this, in a free state, is unacceptable.


7 thoughts on “Police statement on arrest of street preacher in Wimbledon

  1. It is clear that speaking as Tony Miano did was not an offence under section 5 of the Public Order Act 1986, though a hearer claimed to have found his words offensive or insulting. Freedom of speech is guaranteed under Article 10 of the ECHR and the courts have recognised this protects the right to express the orthodox religious belief about homosexuality: see this case in the High Court of Northern Ireland: Kirk Session of Sandown Free Presbyterian Church’s Application [2011] NIQB 26 –

  2. I would imagine so. The questioning suggests strongly that this was a political arrest.

    I’ve been searching Google News for reports on the subject. There is a deathly hush.

  3. The Telegraph picked up the story today, and Fr. Z picked it up from the Telegraph. Unfortunately, several hostile-to-preacher LGBT news sources picked it up also.

    (And if a tiny minority group in a big society can’t see why freedom of speech and religion for all is important to their own health and safety, as tending to maintain pluralism for everybody including them… well, I have to think they’ve got no common sense. And that they possibly lobby for sharia when they’re not busy juggling nitroglycerine.)

  4. Self-centredness is behind the entire “gay rights” agenda, I think. “I want it now”, and never mind right or wrong or anyone else. It will certainly be criminalised again once the idiots in power pass on, precisely because of stuff like this.

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