A grotesque abuse of energy from a busybody in a police uniform. There isn’t any different strategy to describe the farcical scene on London’s Oxford Avenue final weekend, recorded by 20-year-old busker Harmonie London and posted to her 300,000 Instagram followers.
In video footage, ‘volunteer particular constable’ Maya Hadzhipetkova tells Ms London she is ‘not allowed to sing Christian songs exterior of church grounds’, earlier than crudely protruding her tongue.
It was really stunning. Do not get me mistaken, I am no fan of pop-star wannabes screeching on our pavements, however that is nonetheless – nearly – a Christian nation, and Ms Hadzhipetkova’s intervention was a brazen abuse of energy.
Initially, the Particular Constable simply does not know the regulation. There’s nothing to ban the singing of non secular music on our streets.
However simply as regarding as her ignorance of the regulation is her astonishingly unprofessional behaviour. To stay out her tongue at a member of the general public not solely falls far wanting the requirements we set for our public servants, but additionally diminishes her authority. Frankly, it is plain infantile.
On the finish of the video the officer caught her tongue out on the singer as she continued filming
The Met has since apologised, saying: ‘The officer was mistaken in saying church songs can’t be sung exterior of church grounds.
‘We’re sorry for the offence precipitated and can take the training ahead.’
I’ve seen the video twice and the answer appears clear to me: Ms Hadzhipetkova have to be swiftly faraway from her function with the drive and banned from ever ‘serving’ the general public once more.
At a time when belief within the police (and particularly the Met) is at an all-time low, this altercation raises additional pressing questions of the drive.
Maybe most pertinently: why is the Met counting on unpaid and undertrained volunteer officers to police our streets?
In response to the Met’s personal web site, volunteer particular constables ‘play a significant function in our mission to make London safer’ and ‘have the identical powers as a daily police constable’.
So how a lot coaching do these ‘important’ constables obtain earlier than being outfitted with handcuffs and a badge? Simply 23 days.
Paid officers, in the meantime, are subjected to a 18 to 22-week coaching programme earlier than stepping out on their beat.
The volunteer recruits are supposedly educated in ‘decision-making, self-motivation, communication, skilled requirements and integrity’. Evidently not at all times very nicely.
To my thoughts, there are solely two causes individuals volunteer as unpaid quasi-police officers. They’ve a real want to serve their communities, or they like the thought of a power-trip. Ms Hadzhipetkova appears to fall into the latter class.
However this fracas additionally speaks extra broadly to our two-tiered strategy to non secular expression. For too lengthy now, Christians have needed to apologise for his or her religion whereas these of different creeds proudly – and generally aggressively – trumpet their views for all to listen to.
If Ms London had been singing the Islamic name to prayer or chanting Yogi mantras, would the police have intervened?
Talking on GB Information, former Conservative minister Ann Widdecombe stated: ‘The purpose actually being illustrated is [that] some individuals have gotten an issue on this nation with Christianity which they do not seem to have with different faiths.’
Christian singer Harmonie London was again on Oxford Avenue in London taking part in yesterday
Ms Widdecombe is spot on. Simply bear in mind what occurred to the SNP’s Kate Forbes, the religious Christian who – due to her non secular views – was practically hounded out of the get together’s election final 12 months, following the resignation of Nicola Sturgeon.
In the meantime, her opponent in that contest – former Glasgow College Muslims College students Affiliation President Humza Yousaf – was lauded for the non secular ‘variety’ he dropped at the workplace.
Certainly, after his victory, he wasted no time in posting an image on-line of his household knelt on prayer mats throughout their first evening in Bute Home, the First Minister’s official residence.
And, whereas I may not agree along with his politics, it irks me that it was the identical story with former Liberal Democrat chief Tim Farron in 2017. He was hounded out of his place by the woke mob over his conservative social views – particularly his perspective to homosexuality and abortion – and compelled to resign, admitting that ‘remaining devoted to Christ’ had turn out to be incompatible with frontline politics.
That is removed from the primary time that the police have been answerable for such intolerance. British pro-life activist Isabel Vaughan-Spruce was twice arrested for silently praying exterior an abortion clinic in Birmingham final 12 months. Regardless of being acquitted in court docket, she was but once more stopped by police earlier this month.
Harmonie London’s case solely strengthens my perception that Britain has a two-tier strategy to policing non secular freedoms. However the disgusting behaviour of Particular Constable Maya Hadzhipetkova additionally raises extra pressing questions.
With anti-social behaviour rampant and knife-crime uncontrolled, it beggars perception to witness such pointless and irresponsible bullying.
I am beginning to surprise, is it ignorance, incompetence – or are our women and men in uniform just too scared to battle actual crime any extra?