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Arrested Scottish street preacher wins substantial damages from police

Police Scotland are requested to pay £15,000 in damages to Angus Cameron, pastor of Cumnock Baptist Church, who was arrested for allegedly using "homophobic language" in 2022.

Simon Calvert, the Christian Institute’s Deputy Director for Public Affairs explained that Mr Cameron had been preaching in Glasgow city centre when he was approached by a police officer. The policeman told Mr Cameron he was being arrested for “breach of the peace with homophobic aggravation”, whilst searching him on a street in Glasgow in front of members of the public. Then officers handcuffed and held him in a van for more than an hour. Later he was released and told that the issue would be dealt with “in due course”.

According to Mr Calvert: “Angus was searched in the roadway, in full view of passing traffic and pedestrians, before being put in the back of a police van for over an hour. He was finally released to be told the matter would be dealt with ‘in due course’. His preaching was not targeting individuals; he did not use offensive language; he was not aggressive; he did not try to cause offence; he simply quoted the Bible. There was no criminality at all.”

The arresting officer called Mr Cameron two days later advising him that he would not be prosecuted. However, a ‘non-crime hate incident report’ had been registered against him in the police database, even though he had not committed any crime.

Mr Cameron has just received £5,500 for his unlawful detention by Police Scotland as well as £9,400 in legal costs. He has donated all of his compensation to The Christian Institute, which supported him throughout his legal battle.

Simon Calvert welcomed the outcome of this unlawful incident: “We were pleased to be able to help Angus bring a legal action and we believe it was because of the strength of his legal claim that the police were forced to reach an out-of-court legal settlement and pay damages and legal costs. In addition, we were able to get all reference to this unsubstantiated ‘non-crime’ deleted from the records. We can act as a bridge between the police and street preachers in this vexed area. In light of Angus’s case and Police Scotland’s announcement of a review, we will be contacting them, and offering any constructive help and assistance that we can provide.”

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