See also

1a. Alan Billings, South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner: Complaint
1b. Same content as (1) but in single column
1c. Alan Billings: Ichtheology, the Billingsgate Challenge
1d. Police and Ethics Panels
1e. S. Yorks Police: IOPC
1f. S. Yorks Police, PCC, Panels 
1g. Alan Billings: 'Hate Crime' 
1h. Capability in education and policing
1i. 'Treating people properly'

 

This page and the pages listed above will be revised to exclude duplicated material and to achieve other benefits


2. Christian religion: criticism
3. Arise! Church Guide
4. Abuse, safeguarding and the Churches
5. Street Pastors Guide
6. Anti-woke supporters of Christian belief

7. Churches, donations, employment

 

Copy of the document sent to me on 3 February, 2023 giving the outcome of my complaint to the Professional Standards Department of South Yorkshire Police

 

The document I received from the Office of the South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner, mentioned in the third column of the page, contains this:  'Unauthorised use or disclosure of the content may be unlawful.'

 

I can find no  such warning in the document I received from the Investigator of the Complaints and Discipline Section of the Professional Standards Department of South Yorkshire Police. For this reason, I quote the document in its entirety, omitting the name of the Investigator:

 

Dear Mr Hurt,

Following receipt of your complaint, which was recorded under Schedule 3 of the Police Reform Act 2002, I was appointed to undertake reasonable and proportionate enquiries. May I thank you for yourpatience whilst I have carried out my reasonable and proportionate enquiries into your complaint, recorded under reference CO/1620/22.


As mentioned previously, from your initial complaint, the allegations raised were as follows;
1. The complainant alleges that an officer has mishandled serious concerns taken to him
by the complainant. He is unhappy that a Community Protection Notice has been
issued against him.

PS 160 Kirkham

2. The complainant, Mr Hurt, is unhappy with the issuing of a Police Information Notice on
him on the 24th of November 2015. The complainant is unhappy that the Police
Information Notice was factually incorrect and believes that a subsequent investigation
into this by a senior Officer was inadequate.

PC 3571 Stevens
PC 3951 Terry
Unknown Officer

I must remind you that I am not able to investigate or re-investigate any crime connected with your complaint and it is not possible for the complaints process to interfere with the criminal justice process or judicial findings. My role is to review the police action that has been undertaken in the context of the complaint that you have made and to determine whether the level of service you received was acceptable or unacceptable.


In order to do so, I have reviewed available records held on police systems which are relevant to your complaint and have obtained accounts from relevant Officers.


1. The complainant alleges that an officer has mishandled serious concerns taken to him
by the complainant. He is unhappy that a Community Protection Notice has been
issued against him.

PS 160 Kirkham
PC 160 Kirkham confirms that a warning was issued to you, to protect a vulnerable person who was complaining about your actions.

• The complainant states that he was never given a written warning before the delivery of the Community Protection Notice and would like to know why this essential step was omitted.

Mr Hurt, I can confirm that a Community Protection Notice was not issued to you.


I can confirm that it was a Community Protection Notice – Written Warning that was issued to you, on the 15th of February 2022.

This warning informs you that ‘if from this time and date, the conduct is still having a detrimental
impact on the quality of life of those in locality then you will be served a Community Protection Notice’.

• The complainant alleges that he was never approached for his view or asked for
evidence before the Community Protection Notice was issued. He states that the Community Protection Notice contained gross
misrepresentations and amounted to defamation of character in the ‘Details of
the Conduct’ section.


PC 160 Kirkham confirms that a Community Protection Notice – Written Warning does not need to be subject to interview. He confirms that the evidence exists and therefore, the warning was served.


Mr Hurt, from viewing the relevant investigation of which the Community Protection Notice – Written
Warning was issued in relation to, I note the evidence that PS 160 Kirkham is referring to. I can see that this includes but is not limited to a number of e-mails that were sent to Church Army and Durham University and a letter that was hand delivered to Church Army – asking for the note to be brought to the attention of Ms Skerratt-Love.

The complainant states that he would like to know whether it was PS 160 Kirkham who instructed the two Police Officers to deliver to him the Community
rotection Notice. He states that he has very good reason for thinking that PS160 Kirkham was showing Christian bias when he made the decision, as Lu Skerratt-Love is a fellow Christian.


PS 160 Kirkham confirms that he did authorise the issuing of the Community Protection Notice – Written Warning, to protect a female complaining about your actions. PS 160 Kirkham confirms that this is not true. He confirms that he does not know the victim or her religious beliefs.

From the above, I have determined that the level of service provided was acceptable.


2. The complainant, Mr Hurt, is unhappy with the issuing of a Police Information Notice on
him on the 24th of November 2015. The complainant is unhappy that the Police
Information Notice was factually incorrect and believes that a subsequent investigation
into this by a senior Officer was inadequate.


PC 3571 Stevens
PC 3951 Terry
Unknown Officer

• The complainant states that this was issued without any attempt to ascertain his views
beforehand or to find out what evidence he could present. He confirms that he did had
evidence available.


PC 3951 Terry explains that the process of issuing a Police Information Notice at that time did not require any formal interview.


• The complainant states that the details of ‘alleged conduct’ included the allegation that
he had called two individuals ‘blundering buffoons’, which is factually incorrect.
The complainant alleges that he never called Mrs Conheeney a ‘blundering buffoon’, only Mr Conheeney.


PC 3951 Terry explains that unfortunately, as too much time has lapsed, she does not recall if the
comment that she heard on the voicemail was directed to Mr or Mrs Conheeney.


Unfortunately Mr Hurt, having viewed the relevant investigation on the South Yorkshire Police Crime Recording System and having viewed the information that the Crime Support Team have on file in relation to this investigation, I have been unable to obtain a copy of the voicemail to listen to.


• The complainant alleges that the police only took the complaint seriously and acted on
it as Mr and Mrs Conheeney are middle class. He states that if a working class couple
had made a complaint about a trivial matter then it would have been taken seriously
and would not have led to the issue of an ‘Harassment Warning’.


PC 3951 Terry assures that the class of the complainant and you is irrelevant and was not a factor in how the matter was dealt with.
PC 3951 Terry confirms that the matter was dealt with appropriately, given the evidence provided by the victim.


The complainant states that the handling of the matter was examined by a senior Officer
at the time, but he believes that his examination was superficial and he failed to address
the issues.


Unfortunately Mr Hurt, despite having viewed the relevant investigation on the South Yorkshire Police Crime Recording System and having viewed the information that the Crime Support Team have on file in relation to this investigation, I have been unable to identify who the senior Officer was who examined the handling of the matter.

From the above, unfortunately I have been unable to determine whether the level of service provided was acceptable.

Mr Hurt, I can confirm that I have asked for the following additional allegation to be added to your
complaint.


3. The complainant is unhappy that he received a telephone call from an Officer late in the evening in October 2022, asking him to remove material from his website relating to Lu Skerratt-Love. He states that he made it clear that this was out of the question and
believes that this was an outrageous request. The complainant would like South
Yorkshire Police to determine who phoned him.


Within one of your e-mails to me you state that as PS 160 Kirkham took the action he did in connection with the complaint of Ms Skerratt-Love he may know the identity of the member of South Yorkshire Police who telephoned you.


I can confirm that I have made contact with PS 160 Kirkham. He confirms that he is not aware who telephoned you.


I can confirm that I have also searched for any reports made by Ms Skerratt-Love regarding you from October 2022 and have been unable to locate any, the most recent report made by her regarding you you being in January 2022.


On the 16th of January 2023 I made contact with you via e-mail, asking you to confirm which date in October 2022 it was that you were contacted, what the number was that the person called from and if the person introduced themselves to you – providing you with their name or collar number.
On the 20th of January 2023 I received a response from you, stating that you are unable to undertake the task of searching for a phone number. Unfortunately Mr Hurt you also did not provide me with the date of the call or inform me whether the person introduced themselves to you – providing you with theirname or collar number.

From the above, I have been unable to determine whether the level of service provided was acceptable.

May I apologise for the stress and inconvenience that has been caused and hope that the explanations that I have provided offer you reassurance.


Your complaint will now be closed. You have a right to request a review of this decision if you
wish. Such requests should be made in writing within 28 days to the South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner, at the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, Carbrook House, Carbrook Hall
Road, Sheffield, S9 2EH.


A Word version of the review form can be found on the Commissioner’s website. Further information and advice can be obtained by email at info@southyorkshire-pcc.gov.uk.

It is important to understand that the relevant review or appeal body cannot reinvestigate your
complaint. It can only assess whether the handling or the final outcome of your complaint was reasonable and proportionate. Reasonable and proportionate means doing what is appropriate in the circumstances, taking into account the facts and the context in which the complaint has been raised, within the framework of legislation and guidance.


Finally, may I take the opportunity to thank you for bringing your concerns to our attention and
allowing us to provide you with an explanation. It is important that we understand the reasons why
members of the public feel that the level of service we have provided has fallen short of their
expectations and that we take action to address this where any failures are identified. It is only by
maintaining an open dialogue with members of the communities we serve and explaining the action that we have taken or are taking, that we will build positive relationships that drive forward and
improve the standard of service delivery across the force. We appreciate your contribution to our
ongoing efforts to engage, learn and improve.

Yours sincerely,
 'The Investigator' [Name withheld here]
Complaints Resolution Officer
South Yorkshire Police
Professional Standards Department

 

 

 

 

 

 

Extract from email sent to members of the Police and Crime Panel, 22 December, 2022

 

The content of this email is wide-ranging and extensive, you'll find. My main reason for contacting you and other members of the Police and Crime Panel is to make certain that you receive a copy of a document which contains strong criticism of some actions of the South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner. I have found great difficulties in what should have been a simple task. Before providing the copy of the document, I outline the difficulties.

 

Alan Billings holds South Yorkshire Police to account and the South Yorkshire Police and Crime Panel to account - that's the theory. Has he been successful in ensuring that the public can comment on the work of the Commissioner? His department doesn't seem to be a model of efficiency. In fact, the initial impression would be unfavourable, if one of the criteria is this very reasonable one: ensuring that the public can contact members of the Police and Crime Panel and members of the Independent Ethics Panel easily, without the need to devote time and effort to internet searches and sending emails to find out how emails can be sent to these people.

 

If someone wants to complain about South Yorkshire Police, then it's very simple - a well-designed and efficient system is in place. It isn't only complaints and criticisms to the Police and Crime Panel which meet with difficulties. Attempts to find out information too.


https://southyorkshire-pcc.gov.uk/news/alan-billings-takes-office-as-police-and-crime-
commissioner-for-south-yorkshire/

For further details about the South Yorkshire Police and Crime Panel please visit: 
www.southyorks.gov.uk

Clicking on this link gave an error message:

 

Using information supplied on the page

 

https://southyorkshire-pcc.gov.uk/contact/complaints/information-on-how-to-make-a-com

plaint

 

COMPLAINTS ABOUT THE POLICE AND CRIME COMMISSIONER

The appropriate authority for complaints made against the Police and Crime Commissioner is the Police and Crime Panel. The Panel has delegated authority for the initial receipt of complaints to the Chief Executive of the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner. Complaints received which are about the conduct of the Commissioner will be referred to the Police and Crime Panel.

Complaints should be sent to:

PCP Legal Adviser
Barnsley MBC
Town Hall
Church Street
Barnsley S70 2TA
Email:
 PCP@syjs.gov.uk 

 

Clicking on the email link gave an error message.

 

The page 'Police and Crime Panel'


https://southyorkshire-pcc.gov.uk/what-we-do/police-crime-panel/

 

includes this:

 

I am ultimately accountable at the ballot box during police and crime commissioner elections, held every four years. During those four years, I am held to account by the Police and Crime Panel. The Panel is made up of 12 people – ten Councillors from each of the four districts in South Yorkshire, plus two independent members of the public ... I have to report regularly to the Panel to account for the decisions I make, or to be questioned by them and members of the public.

 

So far from holding the Police and Crime Commissioner to account, the Police and Crime Panel has shown itself to be compliant,  subservient. In this little world, Dr Billings is very much the Master, the Police and Crime Panel (and the Independent Ethics Panel) are very much the servants.

 

But this section isn't about Dr Billings' claims and the realities which make so many of his claims impossible to accept but about the basic matter of operational efficiency. He's responsible for the operational efficiency of his organization. He can't blame South Yorkshire Police for any deficiencies.

 

On the same page:

 

For further details about the South Yorkshire Police and Crime Panel please visit: www.southyorks.gov.uk


Yet again, clicking on the link will get you nowhere. More exactly, clicking on the link takes you to a page with the familiar message

 

This site can't be reached.

 

Minutes of Independent Ethics Panel meetings are published on the page

 

https://southyorkshire-pcc.gov.uk/what-we-do/iep/meetings-agendas-minutes/

 

and to give an adequate account of the Panel, I need to be able to consult the minutes. I can, but the minutes available online only go up to 16 December 2020. There are minutes listed for 25 February 2021 and 27 April 2021 but there's no link at all, not even a link which you can click on which leads nowhere. So, the minutes haven't been updated in years and the minutes for 2021, 2022 and for this year aren't available to the public at all.

 

Since the Police and Crime Panel are supposed to 'hold the Commissioner to account,' they can take account of the gross inefficiencies in the organization he's responsible for. This would be one of the easier problems to be addressed by them. The problems to do with Alan Billings' failures to follow the problem of impartiality and other failures discussed in these pages are much, much harder.

 

After an internet search, I found a promising phone number and at last, I got somewhere. I was able to send the document I'd written giving critical comments about the Police and Crime Commissioner. I asked that the document should reach members of the Panel.

 

I brought the missing links to the attention of an official. Now, I am assured, the email address PCP@syjs has been fixed. However, at the time of writing, the link to   www.southyorks.gov.uk has still not been fixed. I see it as necessary to bring the document to the attention of Alan Billings, to members of the Police and Crime Panel and to members of the Independent Ethics Panel. If the link had not been broken, I could have submitted the document to members of the Police and Crime Panel. I was able to send the document, but not directly to members of the Panel. I have reasons for thinking that they may well not have received the document. I've taken the step of sending the document individually to the members at email addresses which I know will work. I haven't been able to send the document to members of the Independent Ethics Panel.

 

Any member of the public who would like to contact the Commissioner's Independent Ethics Panel for any reason will have a frustrating time. I'm a member of the public who needs to contact the Independent Ethics Panel and I've had a frustrating time. No email addresses are provided for any Panel member.

 

From my page

www.linkagenet.com/themes/fefe-christianity-south-yorkshire-police.htm

 

A concise summary of events and dates

8 September, 2021. Email sent to Lu Skerratt-Love pointing out difficulties (mainly security, safety) to do with the proposed garden church at some allotments near to my allotments. Email not received by Lu Skerratt-Love. Tim Ling of the Church Army had decided to block emails from me to Lu Skerratt-Love. By 12 September he had blocked emails from to himself and all members of the Research Unit. Since that time, no members of the Church Army have received emails from me.

In the section at the end of this column, Some Documents, a screenshot of the email sent to Lu Skerratt-Love and the response.The screenshot is too wide to be included here. The response included this: 'Delivery has failed ... Your message wasn't delivered. Despite repeated attempts to deliver your message, the recipient's email system refused to accept a connection from your email system.'

All Lu Skerratt-Love's complaints to South Yorkshire Police about alleged emails from me were made when she must have known that she had never received emails from me, are based upon falsification.

8 September, 2021. Letter from me to Lu Skerratt-Love and Tim Ling, quoted in its entirety after this summary. After this one letter, no further letters sent.

22 November, 2021. Card received from South Yorkshire Police asking me to contact them. When I contacted them, told that Lu Skerratt-Love had complained about receiving unwanted emails from me. Told to stop this. I pointed out that Lu Skerratt-Love hadn't received any emails from me. They were blocked. Considered making a complaint but decided not to - I didn't want to cause any difficulties for the Police Constable who communicated the information.

15 February, 1922.  Another complaint from Lu Skerratt-Love, about alleged emails and letters, to other members of the Church Army as well as herself. Again, a complete fabrication. After the email and letter mentioned above, no further emails and letters have been received by these people. I decided that a complaint to the Professional Standards Department of South Yorkshire Police is fully justifiable. I informed Simon Kirkham and the members of police who visited on 15 February.

 I decided to make a complaint to the Independent Office for Police Conduct instead. I have extensive material on a previous visit from South Yorkshire Police, outlined in the fourth column of this page and in far more detail on the page

www.linkagenet.com/education/capability.htm

This previous visit took place in 2015. The Professional Standards Department has a time limit of one year. The Independent Office for Police Conduct has no time limit, provided the person can provide reasons why the complaint wasn't submitted earlier.

 

Chief Inspector Ian Proffitt and 'hate crime'

 

Before I turn to Dr Billings, the South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner (sarcastically referred to below,  in one place, as the 'South Yorkshire Thought Police and Hate Crime Commissioner) some information about developments, lack of developments, evasion and inaction.

 

Chief Inspector Ian Proffitt of South Yorkshire Police was given the task of considering and coming to a decision about my complaint. I found that Chief Inspector Proffitt has a policing speciality: 'hate crime.' He explains that South Yorkshire Police has a 'no tolerance approach to hate.' He claims that 'Our main goal is to prevent hate and we will work wherever possible to achieve this.' He seems to be referring not just to the  expression of hate but the thought and emotion. This really is the thought crime of George Orwell's 1984. Is the prevention of hate 'the main goal' of South Yorkshire Police? Does he believe that calling someone a 'blundering buffoon' is an example of hate crime?

 

On 28 August 2019, I contacted Chief Inspector Proffitt by email. The email contained this:

 

I ask South Yorkshire Police to revoke the Police Information Notice ('Harassment Warning.')

 

No reply received. On 10 October 2019 I sent him a further email. An extract:

 

'About six weeks ago, on 28 August 2019, I sent you an email which contained this:


I ask South Yorkshire Police to revoke the Police Information Notice ('Harassment Warning.')

 

'I now ask that you communicate your decision to me at the earliest convenient opportunity.

Finally, after this urgent reminder, Chief Inspector Proffitt did find a convenient opportunity to communicate his decision to me. On 26 October, he replied. My request that the Harassment Warning should be revoked was refused.

 

''Is South Yorkshire Police claiming the right to police emails? Is South Yorkshire Police claiming that an email which uses the words 'blundering buffoon' is a reason for threatening an individual with criminal sanctions for using these words?'

 

Chief Inspector Proffitt has said,

'To encourage reporting of hate crimes and incidents, officers have been raising awareness of the forces ‘Hate Hurts. Report it’ campaign launched at the end of February. The campaign was launched to highlight the very real and hurtful impact hate has on victims, and South Yorkshire Polices’ [sic] no tolerance approach to hate.'

 

'Chief Inspector Ian Proffitt continued: “Having the opportunity to gather feedback enables us to build stronger partner agency relationships, provides different community groups with a voice and encourages reporting. Our main goal is to prevent hate and we will work wherever possible to achieve this.'

 

'To find out more about the ‘Hate Hurts. Report it.’ campaign please visit our website: '

 

'http://www.southyorkshire.police.uk/…/z-crime-ty…/hate-crime. You can also report any hate crimes through either 101, 999 in an emergency, or anonymously through the True Vision website.' I would think there are very few occasions when use of the 999 service to report hate would be a reasonable use of the 999 service. Sometimes, I'm informed, people who have waited and waited for a reply when they phone the 101 number give up and dial 999 to report an incident. Often, this amounts to a reckless misuse of the service. Ian Proffitt is completely irresponsible to mention the 999 service in connection with 'hate crimes,' given that a proportion of alleged 'hate crimes' are nothing of the kind.

 

The 101 service has become completely overloaded, as I know from personal experience. This year, there have been incidents of vandalism and damage on countless occasions. My own allotments have been attacked often. Gradually, allotment holders have identified the group of youths responsible. I challenged them on one occasion and had a missile thrown at the van. I've phoned the 101 service to report incidents and each time, have given up after an hour or so waiting for an answer. Other allotment holders have had the same experience of the 101 service. To find that Chief Inspector Proffitt is encouraging the public to use the 101 service to report hate, to make an already overloaded service even more overloaded, is very depressing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Email    

Outcome of my complaint to the Professional Standards Department of South Yorkshire Police against Sergeant Simon Kirkham of South Yorkshire Police. Ongoing - my complaint against South Yorkshire Police by means of other channels.

 

Included in this column: extracts from a document sent to me as an email attachment on 3 February, 2023 - a deeply disturbing document.

 

I give my reasons below, for the time being in very concise form, concentrating on a few important issues. A much fuller treatment will be needed.  I don't name the author of the document. Here, I refer to the author of the document as 'the Investigator.'

 

The Investigator followed this method throughout. Sergeant Kirkham, the person who is the subject of my complaint, was asked for his views and for 'evidence,' internal police records - not available to me, obviously - were consulted, but never once did the Investigator contact me for my testimony or ask me to supply the documentation I had available. I made documentation available but it was ignored.

 

The Investigator obviously spent a great deal of time trying to find out the name of the officer who handled my complaint about the issuing of a 'Harassment Warning' to me for calling someone a 'blundering buffoon' in a phone call and email message which were private and never reached the public domain. This was a misuse of police resources, in time and money. It showed flagrant disregard for police priorities. Time and money spent on this case were time and money not spent on far more urgent matters.

 

This is from the document supplied by the Investigator. The full document is in the column to the left.

 

Unfortunately Mr Hurt, despite having viewed the relevant investigation on the South Yorkshire Police Crime Recording System and having viewed the information that the Crime Support Team have on file in relation to this investigation, I have been unable to identify who the senior Officer was who examined the handling of the matter.

 

In this column, my comment:

 The Investigator should have contacted me. I could have spared the Investigator all this effort, all this wasted time. The information was readily available from me. The senior Officer was Chief Superintendent Ian Proffitt.

 

The Investigator believed Sergeant Kirkham, a member of the Christian Police Association, a fundamentalist evangelical outfit which believes in Hellfire for All for All Eternity - except for the small minority who accept the Lord Jesus as Redeemer. The complainant was also a Christian, but Sergeant Kirkham assured the Investigator that there was no bias involved. He didn't even know that the complainant was a Christian. The evidence that he did know that the complainant was a Christian is not just overwhelming but complete. He knew that she worked for the Church Army, another outfit with evangelical views, and in the COMMUNITY PROTECTION NOTICE - WRITTEN WARNING issued to me (capitals as in the original) there's this: 'In some of these correspondences you make mention of her personal faith.'

 

The Investigator shows absolutely no recognition of the fact that it isn't the job of the police to act against someone for 'mention' of someone's faith, in this case Christian faith. As I show in various places in these pages, police action against me for 'correspondences' was grossly unfair and very disturbing. Again, the Investigator wasn't interested in the evidence I had available and depended on the testimony of Sergeant Kirkham, the one I was complaining against. The 'correspondences' received by Lu Skerratt-Love, the complainant, amount to just one item, a courteous letter. The other 'correspondences' amount to an email I sent which was never received by Lu Skerratt-Love.

 

The Investigator refers to Lu Skerratt-Love as a 'victim' and to Lu Skerratt-Love as a vulnerable person. The pitfalls of self-identification have been exposed in the furore concerning some transgender cases. Allowing people who are biologicall male to claim that they are women can have consequences, severe consequences. Vulnerable people include genuinely vulnerable people and people who claim to be vulnerable. Victims include people who are genuinely victims and people who claim to be victims.

 

The Investigator works for the Complaints and Discipline Section of the Professional Standards Department of South Yorkshire Police and  has a background in investigating 'Hate Crime' but I've been informed that the Investigator no longer investigates Hate Crime and has not done that for a few years.

 

The Investigator had received detailed information from me, giving argument and evidence but chose to present the outcome of my case in a form which does not take into account very substantial issues: a schematic, systematic presentation which gives a neat and tidy appearance on the page but which is more a matter of formatting than of substance. The document has major omissions and other very substantial faults. It completely fails to do justice to the issues, which include fundamental issues to do with free expression. I don't regard free expression as a right which is subject to no restriction whatsoever but I have the documentary evidence to refute all the charges which were used against me and which the Investigator allows to stand in this document,  using the phrase, 'I have determined that the level of service provided was acceptable.'

 

The Investigator writes, 'whilst I have carried out my reasonable and proportionate enquiries.' This is simply a phrase which makes a claim. Who could criticize enquiries which are 'reasonable and proportionate?' Can the claim be justified, throughout or in part? Is it an empty claim, no more than copying and pasting words thought to be impressive and beyond scrutiny, or do the enquiries fall far short? Is this claim to do with an ideal world or the real world. We'll see.

 

Here, I don't follow the order of presentation in the document. I begin with some of the more disturbing aspects of the document - very disturbing, I hope to demonstrate.

 

These comments of the Investigator were completely unnecessary:

 

He is unhappy that a Community Protection Notice has been issued against him.
PS 160 Kirkham
PC 160 Kirkham confirms that a warning was issued to you ...
• The complainant states that he was never given a written warning before the delivery of the Community Protection Notice and would like to know why this essential step was omitted.

Mr Hurt, I can confirm that a Community Protection Notice was not issued to you.
I can confirm that it was a Community Protection Notice – Written Warning that was issued to you ...

 

The impression was given that I believed that a Community Protection Notice had been issued to me and that I was confused about what had occurred - that I was mistaken about the facts until I received this document on 3 February, 2023.

 

In fact, in an email sent to the Investigator on 14 December, 2022, I wrote,

 

In my online record of events - the extensive page   https://www.linkagenet.com/themes/fefe-christianity-south-yorkshire-police.htm  is the main record so far - I don't make the mistake I made recently. I refer to the 'Community Protection Notice - Written Warning' as simply  'the Written Warning' but in my recent emails I inadvertently wrote that the the paper document was itself a 'Community Protection Notice' rather than a written warning preceding the possible issue of a Community Protection Notice. 

 

I had made a mistake, of the kind that can easily occur in very long sessions of research and writing, and I corrected the mistake long ago. There was absolutely no need to include the material. I won't claim that it was done to demonstrate superior knowledge of the facts, but I had been aware of the facts concerning the 'Community Protection Notice-Written Warning' for a long time. The title 'Community Notice-Written Warning' may easily lead to this kind of mistake.

 

PC 160 Kirkham confirms that a Community Protection Notice - Written Warning does not need to be subject to interview. He confirms that the evidence exists and therefore, the warning was served.

 

Mr Hurt, from viewing the relevant investigation of which the Community Protection Notice - Written Warning was issued in relation to, I note the evidence PS 160 Kirkham is referring to. I can see that this includes but is not limited to a number of e-mails that were sent to Church Army and Durham University and a letter that was hand delivered to Church Army - asking for the note to be brought to the attention of Ms Skerratt-Love.

 

In an email I sent to Sergeant Kirkham  as long ago as 16 February, 2022, I included this:

 

I sent one letter to Lu Skerratt-Love many months ago ... although I sent one email to Lu Skerratt-Love many months ago she never received it.

 

Lu Skerratt-Love knew that she had never received any emails from me: her superior at the Church Army had blocked all emails from me. Her complaints that I had been harassing her over a long period of time were based upon falsification, but Sergeant Kirkham chose to believe the testimony of the 'victim' and thought it completely unnecessary to contact me for my testimony.

 

He [Sergeant Kirkham] confirms that the evidence exists and therefore, the warning was served.

 

What evidence? The evidence of a courteous letter and a courteous email - which was never even received by Lu Skerratt-Love - is all the evidence Sergeant Kirkham needed to issue a Community Protection Notice - Written Warning. The Warning contained this:

 

' ... your conduct is having a detrimental effect, of a persistent or continuing nature on the quality of life of those in the locality and the conduct is unreasonable now issue you with a WRITTEN WARNING ... By this Written Warning you are required to cease this conduct immediately.

 

If from this time and date, the conduct is still having a detrimental impact on the quality of life of those in the locality, you will be served a Community Protection Notice. It is a criminal offence not to comply with this Notice ...

 

The claim that my conduct is having a detrimental effect ... on the quality of life of those in the locality' is grossly offensive and amounts to defamation of evidence. The evidence that I have been having a detrimental effect on the quality of life in the locality is non-existent. The evidence that I have worked hard to enhance the quality of life in the locality is very substantial. The gardening images on the Home Page of the site will make this completely clear.

 

If constructing a wildlife pond which attracts dragonflies and which attracts mating frogs, increasing the population in the area very much, amounts to a 'detrimental effect,' then Sergeant Kirkham has a great deal to learn. His behaviour has been not just unprofessional with regard to these events. I take the view that the failures are worse than that.

 

The Investigator fails to mention these all-important facts. The Investigator comes to a conclusion:

 From the above, I have determined that the level of service provided was acceptable.

 

This is a grossly biased and completely insupportable conclusion to reach.

 

Later in the document, we find this astonishing claim:

 

PS 160 Kirkham confirms that he does not know the victim [the victim!] or her religious beliefs. This is surely false testimony. In the Community Protection Notice - Written Warning which he perhaps wrote and certainly authorized - he has confirmed that he authorized the issuing of the document, there is this: 'In some of these correspondences you make mention of her [Lu Skerratt-Love's] faith. Sergeant Kirkham obviously knew that Lu Skerratt-Love worked at the Church Army - this and other evidence makes the claim not to be aware of Lu Skerratt-Love's Christian beliefs a claim which cannot possibly be true. if he contests this, then I think he has some explaining to do. If he doesn't contest it, he has some explaining to do, but explaining may not be amongst his strengths.

 

This Investigator's Document was the first time that I learned that material concerning Durham University was included in the dossier and used as evidence against me, leading to the issuing of the Written Warning! It was never so much as mentioned in the Written Warning or anywhere else - and now, the person who was investigating my complaint gives me this completely new claim!

 

I contacted some academics at Durham University and informed them that I intended to include profiles in my page on Universities. Durham University has a massive number of academics teaching and doing research in various branches of theology - so many, that I think of Durham as a 'Faith University,' with some similarities with faith schools. I decided not to include any profiles. There has never been any mention of Durham University in my page on Universities. This issue should never have been included in the Investigator's document.

 

For the record, I have a detailed knowledge of many branches of theology. In my page Translations  I comment on translations of the poet Seamus Heaney and include my own translations, from a variety of languages, including Classical Greek and Modern Greek. I have a good knowledge of New Testament Greek. I've read the whole of the Gospel according to Mark in the original Greek. My knowledge of Hebrew is far less but I had enough knowledge of Biblical Hebrew to be able to translate passages of the Book of Genesis from Hebrew to English. I'm able to debate with theologians, academic theologians, on a very wide range of topics - the difficulty is that I never get the opportunity.

 

Throughout this whole farcical process, the Investigator never once contacted me to ask for any relevant information I had available. The Investigator placed extreme reliance upon internal police records, the testimony of the complainant and the testimony of members of South Yorkshire Police.

 

The complainant states that the handling of the matter was examined by a senior Officer
at the time, but he believes that his examination was superficial and he failed to address
the issues.


Unfortunately Mr Hurt, despite having viewed the relevant investigation on the South Yorkshire Police Crime Recording System and having viewed the information that the Crime Support Team have on file in relation to this investigation, I have been unable to identify who the senior Officer was who examined the handling of the matter.

The Investigator could have contacted me with a request for the information. After all, I was the person who had experienced the 'handling of the matter' by this 'senior Officer.' The Investigator should have contacted me. I could have spared the Investigator all this effort, all this wasted time. The information was readily available from me. The Officer was Chief Superintendent Ian Proffitt. I've included much fuller documentation about this Officer and his methods in the first column of this page.

 

The Investigator was very mistaken in including this lengthy section about events dating back to 2015. The Investigator knows, and I know, that the Professional Standards Department cannot investigate matters less recent than a year. I have made it completely clear to the Investigator that this is one of the reasons why I see a complaint to the Independent Office for Police Conduct as essential - in fact I have already made a complaint to the Independent Office but the Independent Office referred investigation of my complaints - but not the complaint relating to 2015 - to the Professional Standards Department.

 

 



 

 

 


• The complainant states that he would like to know whether it was PS 160
Kirkham who instructed the two Police Officers to deliver to him the Community
Protection Notice. He states that he has very good reason for thinking that PS
160 Kirkham was showing Christian bias when he made the decision, as [the complainant - name withheld here] is a fellow Christian.

PS 160 Kirkham confirms that he did authorise the issuing of the Community Protection Notice – Written
Warning, to protect a female complaining about your actions.
PS 160 Kirkham confirms that this is not true. He confirms that he does not know the victim or her
religious beliefs.
From the above, I have determined that the level of service provided was acceptable.

 

 

 

 

 

Ongoing - my complaint against Alan Billings, South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner by means of the Police and Crime Panel.

 

This section in particular will need to be revised and extended to include more recent developments.

 

A Chief Constable of a police force can be removed by a Police and Crime Commissioner. Alan Billings has done it. David Crompton, the South Yorkshire Chief Constable at the time, was removed by Alan Billings. There's information about the severe criticisms of Alan Billings and about  the failure of the Police and Crime Panel to hold Alan Billings to 'scrutinize' his actions or to hold him to account in the third column of my page

police-crime-independent-ethics-panels.htm

 

 The phrase 'nobody is above the law' conveys amongst other things a very important principle in democratic societies - every individual, no matter how wealthy or powerful, is equally subject to the law. But Police and Crime Commissioners are largely exempt. They can't be removed from office can't be removed in most circumstances. They have a very high degree of immunity. Police and Crime Panels are supposed to 'hold Police and Crime Commissioners to account' but the reality is very, very different.

 

In our democracy, in reality, there are some bad laws - or 'defective legislation.' The legislation which is concerned with Police and Crime Commissioners has severe defects.

 

Nobody is above the law, but some people and some groups are able to shelter under the protection of bad laws, defective legislation - and to take advantage of these laws.

 

Another example, the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 allows Harassment Warnings to be 

 

On 9 February, 2023, I received a document from the Office of the South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) The complaint I have made against the PCC will have to be considered by the Police and Crime Panel. Ethical issues have prominence in the complaint and I would expect the Independent Ethics Panel to be involved in the matter. Before I comment on the document I received, some information about these two panels. Further information on the page police-pcc-panels.

 

Members of the South Yorkshire Police and Crime Panel

 

Councillor Rukhsana Haleem
Labour, Chair, Rotherham MBC

Councillor Clive Pickering
Labour, Vice-Chair, Barnsley MBC

 

Councillor Tim Baum-Dixon
Conservative, Rotherham MBC

 

Councillor Roger Davison
Liberal Democrats, Sheffield City Council

 

Councillor Tony Downing
Labour, Sheffeld City Council

 

Councillor Peter Garbutt
Green Party, Sheffield City Council

 

Councillor Sue Knowles
Labour, Doncaster MBC

 

Councillor Ruth Milsom
Labour, Sheffield City Council

 

Councillor Janine Moyes
Labour, Barnsley MBC

 

Councillor Cynthia Ransome
Conservative, Doncaster MBC

 

Warren Carratt
Independent Co-opted Member

 

There will be no further material on this page (or any other page of the site) on Councillor Janine Moyes and on William Carratt, the Independent Co-opted Member, for reasons to do with earlier provision of information.

 

Members of the Independent Ethics Panel

 

Ann Macaskill (Chair)
Michael Lewis
Janet Wheatley
Mick Hood
Sheila Wright
Alice Raven
Elizabeth Smart

 

The document I received on 9 February, described as a 'Summary' represents a preliminary stage of the handling of my complaint. The Summary Document is very much more impressive than the document produced by the 'Investigator' which is given in full (without giving the name of the Investigator) in the first column of the page and which I have begun to discuss in the second column of the page. The document from the office of the PCC is very thorough but I will need to address issues which concern me very much.

 

In the preliminary material supplied before the long Summary, there's this:


If you have anything to add to your complaint, please provide this by email to this office and to the Police and Crime Panel, within the next 7 days, in a bullet format, particularising each issue complained of.

 

The format has linkages with the format used by the Investigator in the document which gives the outcome of my complaint against Sergeant Kirkham, as well as a much earlier document from the same person. In the case of this complaint, the schematic format which gave a brief summary of complaints and the response was the only method of addressing the complaint - a method which was completely inadequate for the purpose, giving a superficial appearance of thoroughness but omitting a large amount of relevant - very important - material.

 

 

Extract from an email I sent on 20 February, 2023 to the author of the document - referred to below as 'the Author.'

 

I object very strongly to the particular time limit given in the email sent to me from the Office of the South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner on 9 February, 2023: 7 days. A reply within that time scheme was out of the question. There have been very great demands on my time and there were other reasons 
why this was not in the realms of possibility. The reply expected was in the form of additions to a complaint which was written by the Office of the Commissioner, not a complaint in a form written by me.

 

In an email sent to members of the Police and Crime Panel on 22 December, 2022, I referred to 'serious shortcomings' (in my view) on the part of the PCC. In the first column of the page, I provide an extract from the email concerning a different matter, some difficulties in contacting the Panel at all.

 

In a further email, sent to members of the Police and Crime Panel on 3 January, 2023, I made it clear that I no longer regarded the issues in the same way. An extract from the email:

 

In the previous document [the email sent on 22 December, 2022, I made it clear that the criticisms of Dr Billings did not constitute a complaint. Now that I have been able to undertake further research and to give further thought to the matter, I find that a complaint against Dr Billings is justifiable. I will be contacting Dr Billings to inform him. The cumulative evidence available in the new document will make clear my reasons.

 

I informed members of the Police and Crime Panel  as long ago as January of my intentions, then. 

 

The Author's document is fine as it stands - I'll be giving more detailed comment on shortcomings and omissions, as I see it - but if an attempt is made to use a document of this kind as the sole basis for considering this complaint, then I will draw attention to the matter again.

 

The Author is a staff member of the PCC Office, not a member of the Police and Crime Panel. It is the Police and Crime Panel which is responsible for considering complaints against the PCC and for producing a written response. I see it as absolutely essential that the PCC should do their work thoroughly and that their written response should be thorough. The Police and Crime Panel will surely need to contact me with requests for further information concerning particular points or for clarification concerning particular points.

 

Whatever the outcome of this complaint against the PCC, whatever statements are released or actions are taken  by the Police and Crime Panel are taken before this outcome, I intend to document them and discuss them, when issues of any importance seem to arise.

 

The complaint against the PCC is very wide ranging and involves substantial issues to do with the ethics of policing as well as more general ethical issues. Since the PCC decided to set up an Ethics Panel and the Panel has the full name, Independent Ethics Panel, I can reasonably expect the Independent Ethics Panel to make an input - not a very informal input but one which includes written submissions of sufficient substance to make a genuine contribution to the process.

 

One issue in particular will be found to be very, very challenging. In my page on 'Hate Crime' (and related matters) I present the view that many Biblical texts amount to hate crime. As always, I give the argument and evidence. This is one of the pages where the matter is discussed.

 

https://www.linkagenet.com/themes/police-pcc-international.htm

 

Without any doubt at all, this thesis belongs to the sphere of ethical discourse, without any doubt at all, an examination of this thesis and a response fall within the scope of the Independent Ethics Panel. The continued influence of Christian belief - far weaker than in the past - but still a continuing reality, is no argument against the thesis. What is needed is the boldness to consider the merits of the thesis and to present argument and evidence against the thesis. The thesis has potentially very great implications for policing, and not only in South Yorkshire, and for many field other than policing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   Complaints against South Yorkshire Police (SYP) and Alan Billings,
  the South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC)
 

 
 







 


Letter from South Yorkshire and email from South Yorkshire

 

There are just two cases in this multi-page section of the site, one which began at the end of 2015 when a Police Constable called at my house to deliver a Harassment Warning to me for calling someone a 'blundering buffoon' in a private phone call and a private letter. The claim on the Harassment Warning that I called two people 'blundering buffoons' was completely false.

 

The other case is based on one single letter, quoted below. This was the only communication the complainant, Lu Skerratt-Love' has ever received from me. In this case the fabrications and falshehoods are much more extensive. She has repeatedly made false claims, including the claim that emails I wrote to her caused great distress. But emails to the email address had been blocked and stayed blocked and I have proof, in the form of screen-shots.

 

Throughout, my testimony has never been sought, not even by the Investigator handling my complaint against South Yorkshire Police. The investigator describes the complainant as a 'victim.'

 

I was visited by two police constables to present a Community Protection Notice - Written Warning. There had been no attempt at all to contact me to find out my testimony. If they'd taken that elementary precaution, South Yorkshire Police would have avoided the aftermath. So too the South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner. The repercussions have been long-lasting, the damage caused by this defamatory document has gone on and on, with no end in sight.

 

I was warned by one of the PC's that he was wearing body cam equipment. The PC's were in no danger of being attacked by me.

 

There was just one letter, and this is it, now referred to as the 'Letter from  South Yorkshire. I delivered it to the Church Army building in Sheffield, one copy for Dr Tim Ling, one copy for Lu Skerratt-Love and one copy for Dr Andy Wier. This came after the email sent to Lu Skerratt-Love but never received by her. She has never received any emails from me. Claims to the contrary (as the 'Community Protection Notice - Written Warning' are completely false. The tone of the letter is less conciliatory than the tone of the email. I found the blocking of emails completely unnecessary and open to objection.

 

8 October, 2021

Dear Dr Ling,

There are matters which I need to bring to your attention, and the attention of Lu Skerratt-Love. I can't use the most convenient method, for me, email, since you've blocked my emails. This is simply a short preliminary note. I don't discuss in any detail these matters

Instead of using paper and envelope, buying a stamp and using the post, I've chosen instead to call at the Church Army building and deliver this
note in person and I intend to use this method whenever I can justify a further communication to you or to Lu Skerratt-Love. [I've never made any further communication with Tim Ling, Lu Skerratt-Love or anyone else at Church Army Sheffield. This was the only letter they've received.] I've decided further
to make use of 'open' communication, without enclosure in an envelope. The matters I need to bring to your attention aren't confidential.

Banning, blocking and attempts at blatant censorship should be avoided by people in any organization which values its reputation. Your decision to block emails from me was completely unjustifiable. All I had done was to send emails to a few people and organizations to inform them of my concerns about the proposal to set up a garden church at the Morley Street Allotment site. The reasons I gave and the evidence I gave were to do with matters of allotment law, security and safety. I've documented the issues in detail and published them on my Website. The documentation will be extended to take note of future developments. The people and organizations who received my emails - few in number - could be expected to find the issue of a garden church relevant, for example, St Marks Church.

 

Lu Skerratt-Love had publicized the issue on the St Marks Church Website.The tone of my emails was courteous. I used Lu Skerratt-Love's Church army email address because I had no alternative. This was the only email address I could find.I felt at the time that it was unwise of her not to make available an alternative email address.

Lu Skerratt-Love's decision to complain to the police, her attempt to have me remove material from my own Website, was disastrously misguided, like your decision to block my emails. Lu Skerratt-Love's twitter page is full of complaints against the police but she chose to turn to the police (as an alternative to prayer, perhaps, or to supplement prayer). This, to me, was wasting police time. I don't claim that it
was wasting police time in the strict legal sense but if people demand action from the police for the flimsiest of reasons, or no good reason at all, or for thoroughly bad reasons, then the police have less time available for all the other issues, far more important issues, which they have to deal
with, such as doing something to curb the excesses of Extinction Rebellion, rape, violent crime, and many more. [I don't equate the excesses of Extinction Rebellion with rape or violent crime, of course. This is a short list with examples which are very different in their degree of seriousness.]

I don't make demands myself, although I think that an apology is due from Lu Skerratt-Love and yourself. If you find the arguments and evidence I've put forward on my Website unpersuasive, then by all means let me have - better still, publicize - your counter arguments and evidence.

As I say, this is only a preliminary stage. I've already spent a great deal of time and effort on these matters and I'm willing to do far more. Any necessary communication with you or Lu Skerratt-Love will be by personal delivery of a note. [I didn't deliver any more notes/letters.]

I hope you will be able to bring this note to the attention of Lu Skerratt-Love. [In the event, I provided a copy for Lu Skerratt-Love.] Obviously, you're free to bring it to the attention of other people as well.

Best Wishes,

Paul Hurt

 

 

This is the email sent to Lu Skerratt-Love, the complainant,  but not received by Lu Skerratt-Love, now referred to as the 'email from South Yorkshire.' 

 

Dear Lu Skerratt-Love,

'I write in connection with this post on the St Marks Website:

'SHEFFIELD FOREST CHURCH – SATURDAY 11 SEPTEMBER AT 2.30PM

'After a summer break, we’re back! Join us for Forest Church on the theme of Creation at the Garden Church in Walkley (Walkley Community Garden, Morley Street S6 2PLfor time to be and worship in God’s creation. Bring a drink and a snack for after the service! Our services are intentionally all age and LGBTQ+ affirming, so whatever stage of life or journey you’re on – you’re so very welcome! For more information, you can find us on facebook or email

 
sheffield.forest.church@gmail.com


'I have two allotments on the Morley Street site in Sheffield. I was dismayed to find that the Forest Church is planning to hold this event at Morley Street this Saturday.

The plan is  disastrously misguided, surely. These are some objections:

'The place where it is planned to hold the event is rented land. These are Sheffield Council allotments and as such, are subject to allotment law.  The allotments are rented by Lower Walkley Community Group (LWCG). The group's decision to give permission for the Forest Church to hold the event was very misguided but I have evidence to show that throughout, the use of the land by LWCG has been incompetent.

'[You are] seemingly unaware of the legislation applicable to allotments which is intended to protect the safety of the public and the issue of legal liability. Allotments do have hazards, and in the event of injury to a member of the public attending the event at the 'Forest Garden,' there could easily be severe legal consequences.

 

'According to information I've received, a fundamental disagreement concerning access to the Community Garden precipitated dissension within the group, leading to members going their separate ways and the neglect of the garden, which lasted for many years until this year, when some work has been done, although hardly any of it to do with the growing of food plants. There was a short period when access to the garden was restricted, by a locked gate, but for most of the time, anyone who wanted to enter the garden was able to.


A very striking , and very off-putting feature of the garden is the very large heap of rubbish, very long as well as high - discarded plastic, rubbish of many, many kinds, with further rubbish in some Council Wheelie bins. If it's assumed that this was all left by fly tippers, it can't be the only explanation. I think these must have been left by the Group itself. [I've since received information from a reliable source, a person who has an allotment near to my own allotments, that the fly-tipping was the action of a member of the Community Garden Group. Amongst the discarded plastic containers are ones which once held organic seaweed fertilizer. 

'I've been informed that youths have sometimes gathered in the LWCG garden and been involved in solvent abuse. I can't verify this but an open garden obviously carries security risks. The  LWCG garden is some distance from the road, down the long and gloomy heavily path by the side of the Walkley Bank Allotment Association hut. The garden itself is shielded from view. It may not be likely that the church members would meet trouble but if they ever did, this isn't the kind of place where it would be easy to get help quickly. I don't think this is being too alarmist. About thirty years ago, there was a murder on an allotment site in the Rivelin Valley. Three youths were sniffing glue in the allotment. Two of them turned on the third and stabbed him with a garden tool. In the time I've had my allotments, there have been some troubling incidents affecting allotment holders, including threatening behaviour directed at them. The Forest Church has ignored the serious problems to do with security.

'A Christian event at an allotment site would set a very troublesome precedent. Allotments are primarily places for growing food but they have other uses. From the introduction to 'Jane Grigson's Vegetable Book:'

'In my most optimistic moments, I see every town ringed again with small gardens, nurseries, allotments, greenhouses, orchards, as it was in the past, an assertion of delight and human scale.'

'Allotments  should not be places for Christian evangelism or Christian worship. Christians have many other venues available for that. There is no need to use allotments at all. Allotments are not the place for the singing of hymns  for preaching or for public prayer. 

I hope that this conveys some of my reasons for disagreement'. 

Best Wishes,
Paul Hurt.

My complaint was submitted to the Independent Office for Police Conduct, not the Professional Standards Department of South Yorkshire Police. My complaint was against Sergeant Simon Kirkham of South Yorkshire Police, a member of the fundamentalist Christian Police Association.

Who did the Investigator of the Professional Standards Department go to for testimony? Not me, not me and Simon Kirkham. Instead, the Investigator took testimony from Simon Kirkham and on the evidence I had, the Investigator believed everything he told her, even adding something to do with Durham which never appeared in the paperwork sent to me which came from Simon Kirkham.

This was an abysmal travesty, not in the least a fair-minded investigation, carried out in a way which was grossly inefficient, time-wasting, money-wasting, as in the case of the contact she tried in vain to identify - as I mention on the page, I could have given the information immediately.

Referring to the complainant as a victim! That must mean, according to the Investigator, my victim! This amounts to defamation of character.

What actually happened is this, I'm convinced. I don't have definitive evidence of this but, based on the complainant's account of her participation in an Extinction Rebellion protest in London, the complainant isn't in the least a timid, vulnerable person who needs protecting from the world. The complainant seems to me to be very forthright and very outspoken - but someone, I think, who is capable of being very demanding.

She wanted a Garden Church to be set up in allotments near to my own allotments, and when she found that I was making known the complexities and difficulties, to do with security and allotment regulations and allotment law - I have reason to believe that the garden church was in breach of allotment law - she was outraged and, it may well be, determined to get her way - or had decided, was completely sure, that God had called the founders of the garden church to set up a place of worship in this place.

She may or may not have known that before the garden church was set up and after the garden church had been set up, I was making a concerted effort to have removed a massive pile of fly-tipped rubbish, about 10 metres long, inside the space. The rubbish was eventually removed. Nothing has been done about the overgrown hedges, which are not far short of 10 metres tall. Ordinary allotment holders would get a warning letter stating that the hedges must be cut but the garden church has got away with it for a long time. The garden church seems to be exempt from regulations which apply to other people on allotment sites in the city. The crops they have grown since the church was formed are minuscule in quantity. Again, the regulations specify what is acceptable and what is unacceptable yield of produce and again, the garden church seems to be exempt.

The massive hedges make the interior a dim place - a faint resemblance with the dim interior of an Anglo-Catholic or Roman-Catholic Church, perhaps, although I wouldn't stress the comparison. Be that as it may, the growing conditions in the 'garden church' are not in the least the conditions needed to grow crops successfully. The tall hedges don't promote security, and security is important. Crime isn't a constant factor, but there have been episodes of crime. There have been very worrying incidents at these allotments and other allotments in the area' including a murder. A boy was stabbed with a garden fork.

I have also pointed out that at the most prominent example of a garden church known to me, also in allotments or former allotments, the place was used for evangelism, for mission, for attempts to convert people to a belief in Jesus as Saviour. It was used for baptisms, it was visited by the Bishop of Blackburn, a fundamentalist evangelical opposed to same-sex relations.

The complainant has written about prayer and obviously believes in the power of prayer but, faced with someone with a Website which presents argument and evidence against Christian belief, the complainant decided not to offer counter-arguments and counter-evidence in an honest and open way but had recourse to attempted censorship. The attempted censorship failed, of course. The Churches have vast resources, in money and personnel. There are very large numbers of theologians in universities, most churches have more than one or two staff. It could be said that I'm heavily outnumbered.

In Sheffield, a few years ago, pro-Christian, pro-mission,  evangelizing leaflets were delivered to every household in the city, it was claimed. They couldn't possibly have been delivered to every single address but they would have reached most of them.

The resources of the Churches are very substantial in money, in buildings, in numbers of people - but still the Churches are fading away, bit by bit. There are individual Churches which are growing, but outward signs can conceal a poverty of thought and thoughtfulness, a failure of thought and thoughtfulness. The Churches where, Sunday after Sunday, and in mid-week, people sing the praises of the Saviour - a so-called Saviour who never opposed slavery.

This is an image and caption from my main page on Christian religion:



Above, a slave, Lousiana, mid 19th century: after a flogging. Vast numbers of Christians have beliefs with hideous implications - they believe that the slave above, like all other non-living slaves, is in Hell, eternal separation from God, if he had never accepted Christ as his Lord and Saviour but that the person who carried out the flogging, like all other people who punished slaves and owners of slaves, is in Heaven, in eternal communion with God, if they accepted Christ as Lord and Saviour.