Birmingham Street Preacher Awarded £4,250 in Damages After Being Wrongly Arrested and Handcuffed by Police

Country: United Kingdom

Date of incident: September 1, 2008

In summer 2008 Anthony Rollins, a street preacher in Birmingham, was arrested after expressing the Bible’s teaching on same-sex relationships. On December 8th 2010, he was awarded £4,250 in damages.

An onlooker took offence and two police officers arrived at the scene. Mr Rollins, who suffers from Asperger Syndrome, was arrested under Section 5 of the Public Order Act, handcuffed and kept in a police cell for four hours. He was charged and was set to appear in court. After a number of submissions from members of the public and The Christian Institute, the Crown Prosecution Service decided the case was not in the public interest. On 8 December 2010 Mr. Rollins was then awarded £4,250 in damages following a Court’s decision that it was wrong for police to have arrested and handcuffed him after he preached against homosexuality. Anthony Rollins was quoting from 1 Corinthians 6 verses 9 and 10 (condemning the ‘unrighteous’) in Birmingham city centre in June 2008 when a member of the public took offence, shouted “homophobic bigot” and complained to the police that his language was “hugely offensive”. After the police arrived at the scene they proceeded to handcuff Mr Rollins without any further inquiry and put him in a cell for nearly four hours. Mr Rollins was charged with breaching Section 5 of the Public Order Act but the charges were dropped before the case came to trial. He subsequently decided to sue West Midlands Police after a complaint he made to the Independent Police Complaints Commission about his treatment was rejected. His claims of wrongful arrest, unlawful imprisonment, assault and battery and the infringement of his human rights were upheld by the Court.  Sources and more information: "Marginalising Christians, Instances of Christians being sidelined in modern Britain" p.38 Copyright © The Christian Institute 2009 ISBN 978-1-901086-46-1 See also: Christian Concern For Our Nation