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
1f. S. Yorks Police, PCC, Panels 
1g. Alan Billings: 'Hate Crime'  
1h. Capability in education and policing
1i. Complaints-pcc-panels
1j. '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



Extracts from the WRITTEN WARNING issued after the knock at the door


On 15 February, 2022, there was a knock at the door. Outside, two members of South Yorkshire Police. Once inside, I made them welcome and offered them chairs - the offer was refused - and I asked them what the visit was about. The visit was about just one thing. All they wanted was to issue me with a 'Community Protection Notice.' Discussion was out of the question. The two may well have been instructed not to allow it. The document included 'Details of the conduct.' That should read, 'Details of the alleged conduct' but such issues as defence against an allegation are obviously out of the question for people with some of the people in the police, people with a particular mind-set. These. issues are regarded as trivial, not worth bothering about. 


 Further information about the  document in the column to the right.  Here, 'Details of the [alleged] conduct.'




'The Police have become aware of you contacting Lu Skerratt-Love via email and hand delivered letters. You have also been contacting her work colleagues via email and letter regarding her. In some of these correspondences you make mention of her personal faith. When you write these emails and letters it causes great upset to Lu and her colleagues at work. This is not fair and certainly not right to do so. It is important that you realise how much you are upsetting / distressing Lu with this conduct. You would not wish for such conduct for your loved ones. We are willing to help in any way.'


The 'work colleagues' and 'colleagues at work' mentioned are employees of the Church Army, in particular, Dr Tim Ling [Director of the 'Learning and Development Department' with 'Strategic Oversight' of the 'Research Unit'], Lu Skerratt-Love is an employee of the Church Army [in the Research Unit. She's also a Trustee of St Mark's Church, Sheffield, which claims to be a 'liberal' Church]. I have a record of all the emails I've sent and received which have any relevance whatsoever to these issues. The Church Army has, or should have, a complete record of the emails received from me or sent to me. When Lu Skerratt-Love approached South Yorkshire Police with her complaint, she should surely have been asked to produce some evidence for her complaint - a copy of the 'letters' (but there was only one letter) and copies of the emails. This essential seems to have been omitted. Can Lu Skerratt-Love, can the Church Army, now produce the evidence? If they can't, why not?


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 October, 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


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. I have very good reasons, not provided here.


Even though I already have very full documentation, I won't submit a complaint very soon. Instead, I'll wait for a month - although the timing is flexible. I take the view that South Yorkshire Police should be able to make comments on the existing material. The police are free to make no comment at all, of course, but whatever the situation, comment or no comment on the part of South Yorkshire Police, I'll include a concise record as supplementary information and make it available on this page.


This is a general comment: if South Yorkshire Police does make a mistake, it shouldn't be assumed that the only way to rectify the mistake is for the complainant to contact the Professional Standards Department or the Independent Office for Police Conduct.


In this case, South Yorkshire Police is able to make further inquiries (there's not much evidence that the police made inquiries before sending out the Community Protection Notice.) They are better placed than any Complaints Department to obtain further evidence., in many ways. Assuming my complaint were to be accepted, they will surely have to provide a response. Better to start obtaining information and evidence which may contribute to their response now. But they should have obtained far more information and evidence before taking this action. If they had obtained far more information and evidence, I think it overwhelmingly likely that they would have decided not to take the action.


South Yorkshire Police may be willing to allow Lu Skerratt-Love to continue making complaints about emails and letters and to act on them but I view the situation as farcical, grotesque, disturbing, with implications for policing and the reputation of South Yorkshire Police.


The 'Details of conduct' mentions 'letters.' There was just one letter, and this is it. 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.


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


The 'Details of conduct' mentions emails as well as letters:


 'When you write these emails and letters it causes great upset to Lu and her colleagues at work.'


What emails?  


The document seems to have been issued by Sergeant Simon Kirkham. I presume that it was Sergeant Kirkham who sent the two members of South Yorkshire Police on their errand. I've made requests to confirm his role in all this, but he's disregarded the requests.


If this, in the document, was written by him or approved by him before the document was brought to me by the two PC's   'You would not wish for such conduct for your loved ones' what comment does he have to make on this? If he's still a member of the Christian Police Association and believes in the views outlined in the column to the right  - it gives extracts from the Website of the Association - then he believes that the people, the numberless people who have lost loved ones - devoted mothers and fathers, sons and daughters, heroes and heroines, and all the others - have, according to the hateful, hidous doctrines believed in by the Christian Police Association, lost loved ones who are in hell for eternity - except for the tiny minority of loved ones who accepted Christ as their Lord and Saviour.


The insinuation, that I know nothing or very little about compassion, the insinuation that I ignore the feelings of people is insulting and very wide of the mark.


The document includes this sinister order: 'By this Written Warning you are required to cease this conduct immediately.' What 'conduct?' Stop publishing legitimate comment on my Website? A look at the Home Page, a few glances at the Home Page, will confirm that most of the material isn't on Christianity at all. I intend to continue adding material to the Website, including examination of Christian claims.


Am I to stop contacting Lu Skerratt-Love and other Church Army people by email? The last time I emailed a Church Army person was long ago. The document claimed that I've been sending letters as well as emails to Church Army people. I've sent one letter, a single letter, no more than one letter to a very few people at the Church Army, a tiny handful of people. I'd no desire to send any further letters, and I haven't. Again, all this was a long time ago.


The Church Army can carry on making grotesque claims but I hope, I fervently hope, that in future, they won't find that South Yorkshire Police are willing accomplices - to be more accurate, that  tiny proportion of South Yorkshire Police represented by the author of this piece, whether it was Simon Kirkham or someone else. Otherwise, I  find South Yorkshire Police blameless in this particular matter, but the stupid actions of one person or a few can have disproportionate effects on the good name of an organization.


Now, some background information and context concerning two previous approaches by South Yorkshire Police.


In early October, a police officer from South Yorkshire Police phoned me to inform me that Lu Skerratt-Love had complained about some material on my Website. The officer asked me to remove it. I refused. South Yorkshire Police has absolutely no right to censor Websites in this way. My Website is a very large one, with very high Google rankings for a wide range of search terms. The content isn't abusive or threatening. It contains praise for the police.


On 22 November, 2022 I found a card from PC - - of South Yorkshire police (I don't provide the name of the member of South Yorkshire Police here.) I contacted this member and was informed that Lu Skerratt-Love had contacted South Yorkshire Police to complain about me. She had alleged that my emails to her were unwanted and must stop.


I sent an email to  PC - - the member of South Yorkshire Police who had left the card. This is a copy. It includes the content of the email I sent to Lu Skerratt-Love but not received by her - matters to do with such matters as security and safety. A copy of the email sent to .. :


Despite the length of this email, this is simply an outline of my concerns. This is an issue which I've already documented in detail and which will now require further documentation. You write, 'Lucy has contacted us to ask you to stop contacting her as the contact is unwanted, therefore please can I ask that you send no further emails.'

This supposedly simple request has alarming implications for freedom of expression, but not only for freedom of expression.  You may or may not be aware that I received a phone call from South Yorkshire Police in October giving me information about her approach to the police. She had received only ONE email from me, quoted below.  I sent the email to Lu Skerratt-Love because she has an association with the 'Forest Church Movement' in Sheffield and a Forest Church meeting was planned for an allotment site near to my allotments. I took the view that certain difficulties had been overlooked in this plan, including difficulties to do with security and safety.

In fact, the meeting of the Forest (or Garden) Church planned for September never took place. The Facebook page of the Garden Church has given the information that the launch has been delayed owing to concerns to do with safety. It can only have been my emails which alerted the garden church to issues to do with safety, issues which have still not been resolved, it seems - no date has been announced for the inaugural meeting of the garden church. I take the view that my email has served a good purpose. In a world where abusive, threatening communications are commonplace, this email is in a different category completely. It simply  provide arguments and relevant evidence.

I felt at the time that Lu Skerratt-Love made her original approach to South Yorkshire Police that this was not a matter which should take up the time of the police. South Yorkshire Police, like other police forces, faces so many pressures, so many demands for action, including, obviously, ones to do with terrorist action and other gross assaults on our democratic way of life - and, also demands for action which are completely unreasonable, which overlook the demands on police time.  Lu Skerratt-Love received ONE  email from me and has received NO  further emails from me. The fact that now she makes a second demand for action on your part seems to me completely unreasonable.

Why this issue should be raised again is beyond my comprehension.  All the more so, as Lu Skerratt-Love has travelled to London to take part in Extinction Rebellion protests - protests which again take up a disproportionate amount of police time. When the police are attending to Extinction Rebellion protests then they can't be attending to other issues, including emergencies. I've retained a copy of a tweet of Lu Skerratt-Love which quotes a vitriolic, foul-mouthed attack on the police.  I won't give it here, but to me, it amounts to a complete misrepresentation and distortion of the state of the police force in this country and which completely ignores the massive contribution it makes.

My view is that reasonable, evidence-based action to address the issue of climate change can't possibly take place if society descends into chaos, and the police force (and the armed forces of the country) are the most important of all defences against the state of civil disorder and the breakdown of society which Extinction Rebellion seems to accept all too readily but people with a regard for democratic values can't possibly accept. But I urge you to consider also the vital importance of freedom of expression in maintaining our democratic values.


I decided that a complaint was justifed but I changed my mind. I've practically never complained about anything and I would only ever complain about police action with the utmost reluctance. I have very great admiration for the police, including South Yorkshire Police and very great appreciation for the difficulties they face. I sent this email to the Complaints and Discipline Department on   23 November, 2021:


'Earlier today, I sent an email to complain about the conduct of Sarah Forsythe of South Yorkshire Police.  I'd now like to cancel the complaint. There has been no change in my view of the importance of free expression by email (and other forms of expression) but I recognize that this is something which isn't an everyday aspect of policing. I've every reason to believe that PC ..  is a very good and conscientious police constable and I've no wish to cause her difficulties. I hope a way can be found to resolve the issues by means other than a complaint.'

Before I quote the email sent to Lu Skerratt-Love, I provide a quotation from the Website of St Mark's Church. The Website includes this quotation from Lu Skerrat-Love.

'Lu Skerrat-Love  writes:

 'On 7 October, XR launched its largest worldwide action. In London thousands of rebels joined the rebellion for up to two weeks, spurred on by the need to act now for our climate before it is too late. Myself, and other members of St Mark's, are just some of those rebels. For us, XR speaks truth to power, where a strategy of non-violent disruptive civil disobedience is a way to make effective positive change in order to save this planet from human destruction. ‘My Christian faith felt central to the call from XR to ‘Act Now’, and I spent much of my time in London with Christian Climate Action (the Christian 'wing'), praying, taking part in actions, and doing the daily offices, including Eucharist in front of the police line.


Despite the noise, the clamour, the thousands of arrests [this was a gross exaggeration], the tears, the rain, the fear and the apprehension, it felt like a profoundly holy place. I was shoved, spat at by passers-by, threatened with a night in the cells but kept on, like so many others, joined in union and in partnership that though peaceful action profound change could be made. Christ was present in the mess of it all and with a collective hope (like fresh water) that we were once again renewed in God's call to us, to be stewards of God's creation... And it was good…’


Even an outline of my objections to the distortions and evasions and exaggerations of this account would take up far too much space to be included here.


From my email to Lu Skerratt-Love but never received by her.

Dear Lu Skerratt-Love,

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


'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

'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.


Back to the issue of the 'Community Protection Notice - Written Warning.' This can't possibly be overlooked. It raises very important issues to do with policing, not least issues to do with the impartiality of the police. A South Yorkshire Police representative  has absolutely no right to interfere with legitimate comment on matters to do with Christian faith and individual Christians. 



Document which illustrates the frustrations of communications with Sergeant Simon Kirkham:


I'm only sending you a further email because I added to my page 


material which shows the complete unreality of your order - more than a  suggestion - that I have to follow the commands of the 'Community Protection Notice.' I point out that I sent one letter only to a very few members of the Church Army many months ago, that I sent one or at the most two emails to members of the Church Army many months ago, that I sent one letter to Lu Skerratt-Love many months ago and that although I sent one email to Lu Skerratt-Love many months ago she never received it. So the command to stop sending letters and emails to Lu Skerratt-Love and other Church people is obviously completely irrelevant.

The page also includes new material on the Christian Police Association and the role you played in it at one point. I can't confirm that you still play an active role. You'll find the material very challenging.


I've contacted South Yorkshire Police at Snig Hill with certain requests concerning handling of the case at a more senior level - this is before making my complaint regarding the 'Written Warning.' But I can't start the complaints procedure until I receive written confirmation that it was you who took the decision to issue the Community Protection Notice. I've reminded you once and you've taken no notice. I've made it absolutely clear that I need the information and yet the information isn't given in your recent email ...

Best Wishes,

Paul Hurt


(A quotation I particularly like on the subject of attack and defence is this, in French, not English:

Cet animal est très méchant,
Quand on l'attaque il se défend.)


On this page, I'll give a few recommendations to South Yorkshire Police.


Recommendation: When you receive a complaint, before you go to the trouble of compiling a document, before you send one or more police officers to deliver the document, do consider the advantages of contacting the person first. Do consider if this is a good use of police time and police resources. Do consider the possibility of adverse publicity. Don't assume that the complainer is telling the truth. Don't assume that the person complained about has no defence at all and is obviously guilty. What seems obvious to the complainer may amount to misrepresentation, partial or complete falsification ...  This is what I could have pointed out to the police if only they had contacted me first.

Some Documents


Lu Skerratt-Love had publicized this garden church on the Websites of St Mark's Church Sheffield (where she's a Trustee) and the Website of St John's Church, Ranmoor, Sheffield.


Copy of email sent by me to Allotment Officer, Sheffield City Council on 5 October, 2021:


Dear -

Some new information on the proposed garden church.

A very recent addition to the Facebook page of the 'Garden Church,'

This text accompanies a photograph of a woman sitting on a bench:

'We look forward to welcoming you on the 17th October where you can find out more about our community garden and how to get involved.'

Is the land no longer rented from Sheffield City Council by Lower Walkley Community Group? Is this land newly acquired by the Garden Church?

Earlier this year, land at Crookes was cultivated by a group which had decided to establish 'Cobden View Community Garden.' The group showed seemingly no concern for legal issues, legal realities. Sheffield City Council had a very different view: the land was not a public open space or right of way and the Cobden View Community Group wasn't entitled to assume that the land was theirs to use.

The Garden Church group seems to assume that the land at Morley Street is theirs to use. Legal ownership is obviously a matter of crucial importance. If land is occupied by a group without legal entitlement, what is to stop another group from ejecting the original group? It's very important to know if the land at Morley Street has been transferred from Lower Walkley Community Group to the Garden Church.

Whether the Garden Church is legally renting the land or not, there are further issues which I've already made clear but which need to be reinforced. The Garden Church Facebook page mentions at one point the use of the land to promote what is referred to as 'mission.' The word has a special meaning for Christians. This is a commonly cited definition:

'A Christian mission is an organized effort to spread Christianity to new converts.'

The Facebook Page of the Garden Church has a photograph of an existing 'allotment church,' showing Jill Duff, the Bishop of Lancaster, with adults and children. Three of the children and one adult were baptized by the bishop at an event at the 'allotment church.' It's completely clear that one of the main aims of this allotment church is to convert non-Christians.

This is how Sharon Collins, who is associated with the 'allotment church,' describes the 'mission' of the allotment church. She moved to an estate and then

' We began prayer walking in earnest around the estate, laying hands on and claiming places for Jesus and just crying out, when we got given the use of a disused allotment in the community, which means we could once again meet to worship and we became a very public and visible church. 

"It's a very strategic position that God has thrown the doors out for us. So it is wonderful to be there. There's some fencing that surrounds the allotment and we use that as well for mission. [Bold print supplied by me.] So we often put posters up with Bible verses on them or with words of encouragement on them.'

Jill Duff, the Bishop of Lancaster who attended and baptized at the 'allotment church' has views which should be more widely known. She's an outspoken opponent of same-sex marriage and supports a view of sexual relations which has now become very uncommon in this country, but not in the Church of England. She has conservative evangelical views according to which the vast mass of people are destined for hell - only those who accept Christ as their personal Lord and Saviour are 'saved.

As I've pointed out, Sheffield City Council is under no obligation to make land available for 'missionary' work. Its obligation is very different - to supply allotment land to those wanting to cultivate it for (primarily) fruit and vegetables. People who take on allotments will have a wide range of views on religion and related matters. It's completely unfair to allow a group with one particular set of views to make allotments into a temporary church.

The garden church at Morley Street may post photographs of a babbling brook and other peaceful scenes of nature but it shouldn't be supposed that the garden church is to be simply a place for reflection and admiring nature. In any case, this is an allotment site after all and anybody, any group which rents the land from the Council should be expected to follow the Council's rules on allotment use, such as using three quarters of the land for growing fruit and vegetables, and keeping the hedges to a reasonable height. As I've pointed out, Lower Walkley Community Group seems to have been excused from adhering to these rules over the years - over many years.

The Garden Church has invited people attending the inaugural event planned for October 17 at Morley Street to 'explore' the garden. As I've already pointed out, there are hazards in the garden. The Garden Church hasn't thought things through, has failed to recognize difficulties. I've already pointed this out. I drew attention to the unsafe working practice shown in one photograph on their Facebook page, the garden fork with the upturned tines.

One matter which I haven't already mentioned in emails to you. The Garden Church events, if they take place, are intended to last for two hours. This is at the time of year when the weather is so often very poor. Of course, at any time of year, the weather can be very poor here. What happens if there's a heavy downpour, torrential rain, and, in winter, a blizzard? It has been made clear to me that the Garden Church will meet (if meetings are permitted, that is) no matter what the weather. It has been specifically made clear to me that rain and snow will not stop the events. Children, of course, will be permitted to attend the events with adults. Adults may choose to tolerate the weather, any weather, but it's alarming and clearly hazardous if children are exposed to these conditions, and for up to two hours.

I see it as important that a decision in this matter should take into account argument and evidence. I've provided a great deal of evidence in my emails to you. I've no knowledge of what information has been provided to you by the Garden Church or any other Christian group in Sheffield. If this matter isn't resolved before long then I do intend to make available extracts to a range of people and organizations in Sheffield.

 The garden Church, and other Christian groups, are free to give their own argument and evidence, which will be very different from mine. I would be glad if they would produce argument and evidence but, if past experience is any guide, I think it's unlikely that there will be a concerted attempt to answer legitimate and reasonable objections and to show why the Garden Church event should go ahead.

I was very disappointed that a decision as to whether these events could proceed wasn't taken in time for the September meeting of the Garden Church, which, as I've previously mentioned took place at another venue, a field belonging to a Sheffield Church. Since the Garden Church Facebook page makes it clear that the Garden Church has every intention of holding an inaugural event on October 17 I hope that the allotment office will be able to announce a decision soon. [The inaugural event never took place on that date and has still not taken place. The garden church announced that the reason for delaying the inaugural event was the need to spend time on secirity - I was the one who pointed out difficulties to do with security.] As always, I appreciate the demands on your time.

 Given the fact that Christians have so many venues available to them, there was absolutely no need to contemplate setting up a Garden Church on allotments, as I see it. However, people at the Garden Church will see things very differently - the Garden Church would give opportunities for 'mission,' they hope. I don't claim that all the people hoping to attend these events will see things in the same way. The different doctrines to be found in the Christian churches have been the cause of intense conflict in the past and continue to give rise to fundamental disagreements, but I can't possibly do justice to these matters here.

Best Wishes,




Email sent to Lu Skerratt-Love on 8 September but not received by her - evidence that the email never reached her, as the result of blocking of all emails to Lu Skerratt-Love and other members of the Church Army   No other emails have reached her. Her claim that she's received emails from me is false.


Email sent to Dr Andy Wier of the Church Army on 26 November, 2021:











My dealings with South Yorkshire Police (and other police forces) have been infrequent, very infrequent. When I have contacted them or been contacted by them, or simply spoken to police officers,  I've found them courteous, efficient - impressive, in fact, very impressive. I make it clear that the concerns discussed on this page and a few other pages relate to one set of issues only. They don't in the least constitute general criticism of the police. Far too many criticisms of police forces, including South Yorkshire Police, are generalized, deeply unfair criticisms, ignoring the vast benefits of the police forces and the overall record and achievements of the police.


Police forces, like the armed forces, have fundamental importance in any democratic society, protecting society against internal threats and external threats. The internal threats include the threat of terrorism and  the threat of anarchy, which would make any ordered democratic institutions impossible, such as the transfer of power from one democratically elected government to another.


But the police forces have a vast range of other benefits, to name only a few, deterring and imposing sanctions on vandalism, child abuse, domestic abuse, cruelty to animals ... the list is very long.


Police forces are massive operations, employing a very large number of staff. It would be impossible to ensure that all members of staff behave and carry out their duties in a way which could not be criticized.  The resources available to the police are limited, like the resources available to the armed forces. They are subject to the same restrictions as other organizations, the imperfections which are fundamental realities of life. Again and again, well-publicized failures and transgressions are used as evidence for claims that  the whole organization is 'rotten to the core' or beyond reform. Almost always, this amounts to flagrant exaggeration.


I do share the common view that police forces have surrendered far too much of their independence to support for 'woke' views. There are pages of the site which criticize 'woke' views and places in which I criticize some anti-woke' views, or some ridiculous views of people who have some reasonable views.


Despite the experiences recorded on this page, I think very highly of South Yorkshire Police.


The Police Covenant


From the page


'The Police Covenant is a pledge to do more as a nation to help those who serve this country and specifically to recognise the bravery, commitment, and sacrifices of those who work or have worked in policing.'


The Armed Forces Covenant


is a pledge with similarities.  More information on the page


More extracts from the WRITTEN WARNING issued after the knock at the door


From the  WRITTEN WARNING issued to me by South Yorkshire Police PC's on 15.02.2022

Pursuant to Section 43 Part 4 Chapter 1 (Community Protection Notices) Anti-social Behaviour Crime and Policing Act 2014.

' ... 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.'

'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 the Notice ... If found guilty you could be fined up to £2,500.'

Sergeant Simon Kirkham, who plays a major role in the issuing of the WRITTEN WARNING issued to me, has responsibilities for policing 'the locality.' I do what  I can to prevent problems in 'the locality' and even to enhance it. For one thing, I drew to the attention of the proposed garden church (prominent in the garden church movement: Lu Skerratt Love), problems to do with security and safety and allotment law, problems like solvent abuse, vandalism, threatening behaviour and even a murder not far away (a pupil was stabbed with a garden fork.)

The email in which I drew attention to the problems never reached her, as the email was blocked - further information in the column to the left. A further email drawing attention to the immense heap of garbage in the site of the proposed garden church never reached her - again, blocked. They did reach Tim Ling, before he imposed a general ban on any emails of mine ' - emails to Lu Skerratt-Love, emails to him, emails to all members of his department, and I've recently found, emails to people not in his department.  Lu Skerratt-Love has carried on complaining to South Yorkshire police and South Yorkshire Police have carried on taking action  - about emails never received by anyone at the Church Army and emails never sent to anyone at the Church Army, emails (only two) sent to Lu Skerratt but never received by her on the subject of allotment law, security and safety at allotments, emails on practical issues completely relevant to the proposed 'garden church.'  These are the emails which, according to the Community Protection Notice cause 'great upset to Lu and her colleagues at work.'

One of the two Document Delivery People, the Police Constables (not intended to be a demeaning remark - most of their other duties will be far more demanding, far more worthwhile and far more valuable to society - although I can't think that this futile exercise was of any value to society at all) reinforced the Awful Warning of the Document. I could be fined up to £2,500, he said.  Here, this Messenger went beyond his very limited duties on this occasion. He had no need to reinforce the Awful Message of The Document.

Recommendation to senior staff of this police force and other police forces: Advise your people not to give inflated, completely unrealistic facts and figures. He knew, you should know, that the prospect of my receiving a fine anything like this or any fine at all is very remote.

This ludicrous statement of his will have been captured on his Webcam (or Body Worn Video, BWV.) He mentioned that recording was under way.

From an email I sent to the two PC's attending and to Sergeant Simon Kirkham,

' ... recordings are described by South Yorkshire Police as 'an overt method to promote public reassurance,' supporting  'transparency, trust and confidence in the police.'  According to the information available to me, 'all recordings will be held securely on police computers. Recordings are only kept for a certain period of time ... ' This is the day after your visit. I take it that the time interval is too short for the recording of your visit with - -  to have been erased already. I regard it as essential that the recording should be kept until complaint inquiries have been concluded, even though the recording provides evidence only for a minor part of the whole.'


I recognize the importance of these recordings in policing, of course, although almost always, the situation is very, very different from this one, and quite often dangerous.

 'm determined to be fair-minded. I don't claim in the least that South Yorkshire Police shows incompetence and stupidity generally, I don't claim that whoever took the decision to issue this grotesque document shows incompetence and stupidity generally.

It seems obvious to me that some representative of  South Yorkshire Police, whether Sergeant Simon Kirkham or someone else, decided to make use of a class of document which was completely unsuitable for the purpose.  After mention of the fine, it gives the impression - more exactly, it states - that I could be 'required to pay the cost of remedial work carried out by the Local Authority and items used in the commission of the offence may be forfeited or seized.'

They took an existing document type which they thought would just about do and added their own contribution, the ridiculous allegations of the section 'Details of the conduct.' Then, perhaps, without glancing at what they'd written, let alone reading it carefully, to ensure that it conveyed what they wanted to convey, to ensure that it provided no opportunity for reasonable criticism, nothing that could harm their reputation, they arranged for its delivery to me.

The fact that there's extensive material concerned with Lu Skerratt-Love on this site is simply the result of her own recklessness. At various times, I've resolved to publish nothing more, or next to nothing, on Lu Skerratt-Love and included a note to this effect on the site, but then she's gone ahead and made a fresh complaint and I've responded to the complaint by adding further comment. This latest complaint of hers called for fresh comment and I've obliged.

I haven't responded by sending her an email or a letter. The demand that I should stop sending emails to her or letters to her is nonsensical. She must know that I haven't been doing either of these things. This amounts to implicit or active falsification on her part, surely.

As for my Website, she has absolutely no chance of persuading me or forcing me to remove material from this Website. Prayer would be ineffectual and contacting the police would be ineffectual. I remove material myself for a variety of reasons, if, for instance,  I  feel that it isn't fair-minded or sufficiently fair-minded. None of it is abuse, foul in tone. South Yorkshire Police would never be successful in dictating what should and shouldn't appear on the site. There's so  much extreme, violent content out there and to suppose that this site should be singled out for attempted censorship would be ridiculous - and sinister.

In this column, as supplementary material: my response to a demand made by a solicitor to remove  from the site material on Dr Mark Berry of the Music Department, Royal Holloway. Dr Berry is a non-Christian. The site includes many, many critical profiles of non-Christians.

To return to the document, on one side of a single sheet of paper, South Yorkshire Police managed to include material of different kinds, not a single blunder but varied, multiple blunders.

I wasn't mixed up with a completely different person, someone who dumped rubbish in the street, held loud all-night parties, vomited in the gardens of neighbours.

Sergeant Kirkham (or whatever person authorized the issuing of the document) didn't bother about contacting me first and finding out more.

Recommendation: Don't issue a document like this unless
you have enough information to be able to give a defence of your act. If you act on inadequate information, you're vulnerable. If you send PC's out to issue a Community Protection Notice or a Harassment Warning and you've listened only to the complainer, you may be causing the PC's unnecessary difficulties and you may be wasting police time. Members of the police force can waste the time of their own force.





Christianity and policing
The Christian Police Association: Sergeant Simon Kirkham of South Yorkshire Police and the Sheffield Police and Crime Commissioner, Dr Alan Billings


The Christian Police Association makes completely clear that Evangelism is one of its aims: the attempt to inform police colleagues and the general public about Christian belief in the hope of converting police colleagues and the general public to Christianity - their own version of Christianity. An extract from the Christian Police Association page



'OUR MISSION is to ... Communicate in words and action, the truth, message and hope of the gospel of Jesus Christ to colleagues and the community we serve.  OUR VISION is to see Colleagues and those we serve to know Jesus Christ personally.'


The police service has to maintain neutrality and impartiality, to serve people in the community with very different religious beliefs and no religious beliefs, not in the least to engage in evangelism. South Yorkshire Police - and other police forces - need to consider very carefully the implications of the 'Mission Statement' and 'Vision Statement' and avoid endorsing the Christian Police Association. More than that, police forces need to remind members of the Association of their duties, to the community, which, with rare exceptions,  isn't in the least desperate to learn about the Gospel from police officers or anybody else.


Sergeant Simon Kirkham, criticized in the columns to the left, is a member of the Christian Police Association, or was at the time of this report. He hasn't confirmed that he was the person who issued the instruction to two Police Constables to call and deliver to me the 'Community Protection Notice - Written Warning' to me. I asked if he could confirm this but he ignored the email and ignored my polite reminder.


 His faith and the faith of other members have implications. I mention some possible - likely - implications below, to me, hideous implications - I provide the evidence. I doubt if Dr Alan Billings, the South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner shares all the beliefs of the Christian Police Association, but I think he needs to make clear what his beliefs are, for example, whether or not he has the beliefs concerning salvation of the Christian Police Association. Is he an evader, or will he be willing to make a Declaration of Belief? Police and Crime Commissioners are expected to be impartial. It would be helpful if he could make clear what version of Christianity he believes in. 


He attended the relaunch of the Christian Police Association, as reported in the newspaper 'The Star:'


but the Association explicitly states its belief in 'Hell for All' (except for the tiny minority who accept Christ as their personal Lord and Saviour.)


A bible reading and evening of celebration was held in Sheffield to mark the re-launch of the Christian Police Association at South Yorkshire Police.

Members of the public joined South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Dr Alan Billings, Chief Constable Stephen Watson, officers and police support staff at the Rock Christian Centre in Carlisle Street.

Dr Billings and the chief were presented with specially commissioned South Yorkshire Police crested bibles by Thomas of Gideons International. Sergeant Simon Kirkham, a Rotherham police officer, delivered the reading to around 150 colleagues, support staff and members of the public who enjoyed music from the worship band.

Lee Russell, executive director of the CPA and chief constable Stephen Watson made short speeches to welcome people to the event and endorse the local re-launch of the CPA.

Stephen Watson, the Chief Constable of South Yorkshire Police, was mistaken in endorsing the Christian Police Association. The decision to attend of Alan Billings, the Police and Crime Commissioner for South Yorkshire and Stephen Watson, the Chief Constable at the time,  was a mistake. It could be claimed that he implicitly endorsed the Association and its hideousl misguided theology by attending. As I've pointed out, it's unclear what parts of the (hideous) theology he shares.

This is an extract from a page of the Christian Police Association Website,

after I've commented on the standard evangelical beliefs and some of their implications. Perhaps Sergeant Kirkham and other Christian police staff could state whether or not they have these beliefs. (Although I think it's very unlikely that they will oblige.) I could have given many more, of course. I give other examples on other pages of the site. Some beliefs, then:

The belief that all serving police staff of South Yorkshire Police are destined for eternal separation from God if they never make the decision to accept Christ as Lord and Saviour. Eternity: a very long sentence indeed, an inconceivable long, a grotesquely harsh sentence, to me,  the product of an ignorant and grotesquely  cruel mind-set.


The belief that everyone helped by South Yorkshire Police, or arrested by South Yorkshire Police (some or many of them later learning the error of their ways) are destined for eternal separation from God if they never make the decision to accept Christ as Lord and Saviour.


The belief that people convicted of horrific crimes, such as the rape of children, terrorist acts which kill and injure innocent people, are not destined for eternal punishment if they have the necessary qualification for eternal union with God: belief in Christ as Lord and Saviour.


Extracts, then, from the Christian Police Association site:




The Christian Police Association is non-denominational. In other words, we have members who are Baptist, Church of England, Methodist, Episcopalians and Presbyterians and from many of the other mainstream traditions. We are also a member of the Evangelical Alliance. What unites us is our belief in the following principles found in the Bible:



  • We Believe


    That the Bible, as originally given, is the inspired Word of God without error and is the only complete authority in all matters of faith and doctrine.
    That sin entered the world when man chose to disobey God and please himself. Since then sin has affected the core of humanity, touching every part of our nature and being.
    That it is only by God’s grace and mercy that the sinful person is made right with Him through faith in Jesus Christ alone.


  • We Believe


    That the soul of a person is eternal and that there will be a physical resurrection of the body for everyone who will then be judged by the Lord Jesus Christ. Those who have died having believed and received forgiveness will be raised, and together with those believers who are still alive, will be taken to live with Christ forever. Those who have refused to believe will be condemned from God’s presence forever.

    That all Christians have an obligation to demonstrate their true allegiance to Christ by obeying His commands and living lives that please Him.


    Highly recommended, a reading of this article on the courage and sacrifices of Birmingham police officers killed during the Blitz.



     I don't know how many of them were Christians - not nominal Christians but people who had 'accepted Christ as personal Lord and Saviour' - but the doctrine that the police offficers who have 'refused' to believe or never got round to considering the issue were 'condemned from God's presence forever.' This doctrine of eternal separation, eternal punishment, Hell, however it's to be described, is truly hideous. The Christian Police Association should be ashamed.


    As for the belief that 'the Bible, as originally given, is the inspired Word of God without error and is the only complete authority in all matters of faith and doctrine' I quote some verses which they may believe is 'the inspired Word of God and without error' but which less credulous people will refuse to accept. These are verses I've already quoted quite often in my other pages on Christian belief. I could give many other examples, embarrassing to evangelical Christians and many other Christians but simply a sign that this belief is hopelessly misguided, but far more than simply misguided.


    Sergeant Simon Kirkham could try his hand at theological explication but many academic evangelical theologians are hesitant aboutz defending these primitive views.


    Some examples of 'God's Word,' according to fundamentalist and near-fundamentalist Christians:


    Psalm 137, extract


    Babylon, you will be destroyed.
    Happy are those who pay you back
    for what you have done to us -
    who take your babies
    and smash them against a rock.


    Exodus 22:18


    Put to death any woman who practises witchcraft


    Do I think that Sergeant Kirkham showed Christian bias when he made the decision (if it was Sergeant Kirkham who made the decision) to send out police officers to my house to present the Community Protection Notice in response to a complaint by a Christian, Lu Skerratt-Love? I couldn't possibly present conclusive evidence that he was biased. I'll simply make the point that when a Christian police officer is considering a case which involves a fellow Christian, the police officer has to take every case to show neutrality. I'll state this opinion. I think it's unlikely that a non-Christian or anti-Christian police officer would come to the same decision in this case.

    Apart from the issue of Christianity, I take the view that the decision made in this case wasn't a victory for common sense but a ridiculous use of police time and resources. There are large numbers of Councillors and MP's, past and present, exposed to grossly abusive language and false claims over long periods of time. The extent of the assistance given to Lu Skerratt-Love in these matters has been surprising. Lu Skerratt-Love seems to have assumed that she was entitled to action from South Yorkshire Police whenever she made a complaint against me. She seems to have assumed that she was entitled to action, in the knowledge that there are so many other demands on police time and police resources - I hope she has this knowledge, that she recognizes the problem of scare resources and massive demands. Is she willing now to provide the evidence which should have been provided to the police at the time of the complaints, so that the police could have made an informed decision as to whether or not to proceed with action, or would that be too much to ask? The police officers who have dealt with her multiple complaints should have asked for evidence, but seem not to have done that. Their multiple failures have had consequences. If they want to defend their action (and their seeming inaction) then I'll be glad if I could be informed.

    Alan Billings, the South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner has identified 'Treating People Fairly' as one of the three 'Policing and Crime Priorities' in his glossy publication 'Keeping Safe: The Police and Crime Plan for South Yorkshire 2017 - 2021, Renewed 2019.'


    Only a few categories of unfairness are discussed on the page 'Treating People Fairly,' for example these:


    'Ethnic minorities point to the fact that they are disproportionately represented in the criminal justice system and may feel that they have undue police attention.'


    Other minorities - such as LGBT ... - may say they are not recognized or understood as well as they should be. If hate crimes are to be properly recorded and investigated we need the police to understand what the issues are and what is at stake.'


    Dr Billings must understand that people who don't belong to the communities he singles out can be treated unfairly by the police. I hope that Dr Billings understands that an accusation of hate crime can be completely unfair, completely unjust - and that the issuing of a Harassment Warning can be completely unfair, completely unjust.


    Violent crime in South Yorkshire doesn't have a section to itself in the short list of Priorities. It's included in Priority 2, with anti-social behaviour and rates only a very brief mention: 'In 2018 we were anxious about the rise in violent crime, particularly stabbings.' This is followed by a few general comments, including this hope: ' ... we want to understand the reasons for the increase and we want to see it brought down.' Gun crime in South Yorkshire doesn't rate a mention at all, unlike the problem of off-road bikes:


    'Often it is anti-social behaviour rather than crime that most disturbs people. For example, last year many told me how their lives were blighted by off-road bikes. I was pleased, therefore, when the police established their biker team that has been very successful in pursuing and apprehending those who cause nuisance - and crushing bikes.'


    The police haven't been as successful in pursuing and apprehending those who cause much more than a nuisance.


    In the same section, Dr Billings makes this claim:


    'In South Yorkshire, all crime is investigated.'


    It's alarming that someone in his position, with his power can make such a ridiculous claim. f he looks into the matter more closely, he'll find that the claim is completely false.


    I'm a non-believer. Dr Billings isn't a non-believer. He describes himself as a retired Church of England priest. In 'Keeping Safe,' very unwisely, he includes, on Page 2, in very large, very prominent letters, this quotation from the Old Testament prophet Jeremiah:


    'Seek the well-being of this place ... for in its well-being you will find your own.' Jeremiah 29:7.


    His Foreword ends with this:


    The overriding message for the coming year (2019-20) is that we must get better at working together for the common good. The prophet put it this way: 'Seek the well-being of the place where you are set ... for in its well-being you will find your own'. (Jeremiah 29:7.)


    Jeremiah's words had a specific reference. Dr Billings ignores this and ignores the context. The complete text of Jeremiah 29.7, in the translation of the King James Bible:


    'And seek the peace of the city whither I have caused you to be carried away captives, and pray unto the LORD for it: for in the peace thereof shall ye have peace.'


    The New International Version translation:


    'Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the LORD for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.'


    'If it prospers, so will you.' Is this necessarily the case? Not in the least. Does the second statement necessarily follow from the first? Not at all.


    There was, of course, absolutely no need for Dr Billings to include this quotation from an Old Testament prophet. He should have realized that he was writing for a community made up of many different groups - not just Church of England believers and other Christian believers but non-believers, people with no belief in God or the Bible, either the Bible as the inspired word of God or the Bible as a good guide to contemporary problems, a community which includes people with a wide range of religious and a wide-range of non-Christian views.


    My page


    has material on  the Sheffield Church organisation 'Arise' which includes a very large number of Churches and Church organisations, including ones without a Safeguarding Officer or Safeguarding Police, Fire and Brimstone Churches, many, many Churches promoting a belief in Hellfire for All - except for the tiny minority who accept Christ as their personal Lord and Saviour - in a more restrained way.


    Members of 'Arise!' 'prayer-walked' every street in Sheffield, believing that this was the way to transform Sheffield, not the way which recognizes the difficulty and intractability of so many problems, physical, social, personal, often calling for sustained hard work, with no guarantee of success.


    From the 'Arise!' Website. It refers to the same text from Jeremiah used by Dr Billings:

    “The prophet Jeremiah summoned the exiled people of God to seek the welfare of their city and to pray to the LORD on its behalf.  To be in exile is to be living in a situation we would not choose.  How better then, to respond to the present pandemic than by taking up that ancient challenge, praying to the LORD for our city of Sheffield and by seeking its welfare in the coming months. Arise Sheffield provides us with that opportunity and I commend it to you — with confidence in the Gospel and joy in the Spirit.”


    – Rt Revd Dr Pete Wilcox, Bishop of Sheffield


    So the Bishop of Sheffield thinks that the best way to respond to the Covid pandemic is prayer? Over the centuries, Christians generally believed that the best way to respond to outbreaks of cholera, smallpox, the plague, other infectious diseases, natural disasters such as earthquakes was by prayer. A proportion thought that killing Jews would help.


    Will 'prayer-walking' solve such problems as gun crime or attacks on the police, fire crews and other members of the emergency services or fly-tipping?


     Can 'Arise!, provide any evidence showing   an upsurge in the numbers attending church services after the Miracle of the Distribution of the Leaflets, the delivery of 240,000 Sheffield-themed Easter cards, one to every home in Sheffield, it's claimed. Did many people take up 'the opportunity to connect with someone from a church near them?' Or did most people consign them to the blue waste paper bin along with the rest of the unsolicited mail?


    Supplementary material:


    On 28 January 2019, a letter of mine was published in the Sheffield newspaper 'The Star,' with the heading 'Can public C of E services be defended?'


    An extract:

    'According to the British Social Attitudes Survey, affiliation with the Church of England (C of E) has never been lower in all age groups: it amounts to only 2 per cent of young adults.


    'What can justify the C of E’s dominant role in Remembrance Sunday commemorations, then? I attend the event in the city centre or at Weston Park. Like ones throughout the country, it takes the form of a C of E service.


    'There are many, many prayers and after each one, this is the expected response (as given in the Order of Service booklet):


    'All Hear our prayer


    'What is a non-believer or a believer in another religion to do? Mumble insincerely? Stay silent? Should non-believers pretend to believe in the power of prayer, or in the Trinity – the doctrine that there’s God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit (also in the booklet)? We attend to remember the fallen, to show gratitude for their sacrifice, to show gratitude and appreciation for present members of the armed forces, not to witness a C of E service. '


    Dr Billings made a comment on the Website of the newspaper but declined to address the problem. His view seems to entail a view of the Church of England as having a privileged position in the civic life and wider activities of this country. In addition to receiving his view of South Yorkshire Police's conduct in my case, whether he chooses to defend the force or to criticize it, I'd be interested in receiving his view of the Church's role in Remembrance Sunday events - does he support the continuance of the status quo or not? Perhaps he thinks that the views of non-believers like myself can safely be disregarded.


    Police and Crime Commissioners have very great powers, including the power to remove a Chief Constable.


    'Hillsborough police chief who was fired last year after being accused of blaming the disaster on fans was "unlawfully" removed from his job,' a court has found. 


    The High Court ruled that David Crompton, the former chief constable in South Yorkshire, should not have been forced to resign by Dr Alan Billings, the region’s police and crime commissioner. 


    Mr Crompton was removed because of a press release issued last April which alluded to "other contributory factors" outside of police conduct, which the jury found caused or contributed to the disaster. (Daily Telegraph, 19 June, 2017.)


    The relationship between Stephen Watson, the last Chief Constable of South Yorkshire Police, and Alan Billings seemed very amicable. The 'Chief Constable's Message,' part of the document 'Keeping Safe,' goes much too far in promoting Dr Billing's Plan, which isn't in the least free from faults.


    The relationship between Chief Constable and Police and Crime Commissioner shouldn't be a symbiotic relationship in the least. The two have very different roles. in a system of checks and balances, responsibilities for oversight and operational decisions and so much else. As it is, the Chief Constable has gone in for a form of grovelling - or, rather, has made not nearly enough effort to preserve a healthy distance. He writes,


    ''The Police and Crime Plan sets out clear priorities for the force and I have an unshakeable intention to ensure that the plan is implemented and we achieve our objectives of keeping South Yorkshire a safe place to live, learn and work.'


    The Plan sets out the views of one particular Church of England 'Priest.' The Chief Constable has, or should have, a far greater knowledge of operational police matters than Dr Billings. His 'unshakeable intention to ensure that the plan is implemented' isn't desirable in the least. As for the objective of keeping South Yorkshire a safe place to live, learn and work, can this be achieved, as he claims, South Yorkshire can never become a completely safe place, unless the Chief Constable believes that he can completely end gun crime, knife crime and the other crimes that endanger the community. He's surely more realistic, less utopian, in his expectations?


    The Chief Constable attended the relaunch of the Christian Police Association, the 'Hellfire and Heaven  Association.'


    Police activity to make South Yorkshire safer surely won't be helped in the least by devoting time, money and other resources to problems such as the ones experienced by Andrew Conheeney, the 'Blundering Buffoons Problem.' Faced by harsh realities, the Chief Constable and Alan Billings refuse to admit that harsh realities demand that the police can't possibly meet all the demands placed on them. If someone calls someone else a 'blundering moron' on a couple of occasions then the police would be wasting police resources by pursuing the matter.


    In his Plan, Dr Billings does write, 'The public need to understand ... how they can become resilient.' He ought to have qualified this statement, making a distinction between very serious setbacks and very minor setbacks. An example of a very serious one, being shot in the head but surviving the injury. An example of a very minor setback - to give the example yet again, being called a 'blundering buffoon.'


    Police Chaplains: Policy Chaplaincy UK


    This article in the 'Church Times:'



    is a very graphic depiction of the work of some Police Chaplains in the aftermath of terrorist action.  It has great interest, but the picture it presents is obviously incomplete - not just in the sense that it's about one aspect of the varied work of Police Chaplains but in the sense that it omits all kinds of difficulties to do with Christian faith.


    My own experiences have included experiences to do with terrorist action, although my life was never in danger. I was in Northern Ireland at the height of the Troubles and what I saw left an indelible impression. A short time before I left the Province, I heard a massive explosion, which killed many people. The bomb, planted by IRA terrorists, had exploded prematurely.


    The belief that members of the security forces, army and police, who died as a result of terrorist action are in a state of eternal separation, eternal punishment - unless they have accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Saviour - and that civilians killed by terrorist action are alo in a state of eternal separation, eternal punishment - unless, again, they have the necessary belief, is very widely believed, and hideous.


    Again and again, in my pages on Christian religion, I come back to Christian beliefs to do with salvation: who is saved and has eternal life - and the others, the 'unsaved sinners,' to use a phrase not heard as often as in the past, but representing a theology which still dominates Christian belief, with variations. 'The others' are a very, very large group, far outnumbering the few who have salvation.



    Below, an extract from the Declaration of Faith of the Christian Police Association (CPA) , quoted above. Instead of providing a link to material on  the Declaration  in the section above, I'll provide the material in this section as well,  for convenience. If Christian Police Chaplains were (politely) asked for a Declaration, would it be essentially the same as the CPA Declaration or different? I'll be providing information at intervals about some of the people in the list of Police Chaplains on the Police Chaplaincy UK Website:


    I take the view that the Christian beliefs of Christian Police Chaplains aren't irrelevant to their work. Although they may make every effort to be impartial, or make some effort to be impartial, or make a token gesture, for the sake of 'transparency' and confidence in the Christian Police Pastor System, information about their beliefs is useful - as well as revealing, with implications for the status of Christian religion in our society.


    To mention someone who isn't a Police Chaplain but someone mentioned on the Police Chaplaincy UK Website. It gives the information that  Pastor Lloyd Denny was presented with a Community Champion Award by T/Superintendent Mo Aziz.


    Pastor Lloyd Denny of Restoration Church of God Luton Bedfordshire certainly does believe in these dogmas/doctrines allegedly 'proved' by texts from the Bible. (I describe it above as belief in 'Hell for All' (except for the tiny minority who accept Christ as their personal Lord and Saviour.)'


  • We Believe


    That the Bible, as originally given, is the inspired Word of God without error and is the only complete authority in all matters of faith and doctrine.
    That sin entered the world when man chose to disobey God and please himself. Since then sin has affected the core of humanity, touching every part of our nature and being.
    That it is only by God’s grace and mercy that the sinful person is made right with Him through faith in Jesus Christ alone.


  • We Believe


    That the soul of a person is eternal and that there will be a physical resurrection of the body for everyone who will then be judged by the Lord Jesus Christ. Those who have died having believed and received forgiveness will be raised, and together with those believers who are still alive, will be taken to live with Christ forever. Those who have refused to believe will be condemned from God’s presence forever.



    From the List of Police Chaplains (in England),  the Police Chaplaincy UK, with comments on some of the Chaplains (and vacancies). The Police Chaplaincy UK list provides email addresses. These are useful to me if I have reason to email any of the Chaplains but not necessary for the purposes of the page. I'll leave the emaill addresses in place for the time being.  The comments here will be revised and extended. Further comments will be added.



    Cleveland Police
    Currently vacant


    Durham Constabulary 
    Lead Chaplain: Revd Adrian Gatrill
    'Adrian sees his job as an extension of the pastoral lessons offered in the bible.' If, or when Adrian Gatrill was  attempting to provide pastoral care to the fellow soldiers, or the wife or children of a man killed in Afghanistan and the man was a non-Christian, would he have been able to give assurance that the man was 'in heaven with Jesus' or would he have had to say that the man was now separated from God for eternity? What guidance would the 'pastoral lessons' of the Bible have provided? What pastoral lessons are provided by these Biblical texts, quoted in various places in my pages on Christian religion?


    Psalm 137, extract


    Babylon, you will be destroyed.
    Happy are those who pay you back
    for what you have done to us -
    who take your babies
    and smash them against a rock.


    Exodus 22:18


    Put to death any woman who practises witchcraft


    His experiences in Afghanistan will have been very valuable, experiences not common amongst Christian clergy in this country now, but his use of his experiences, in formulating his theological views for example, or deciding which theological views to accept, is a very different matter.


    Humberside Police 
    Currently vacant


    Northumbria Police 
    Lead Chaplain: Revd Steve Edge
    Steve Edge's comment on Street Pastors

    'An amazing group of men and women.' My page on Street Pastors and their endorsement by the police (such as Police Chaplain Steve Edge) at



    gives a comprehensive account. My own attintude to Street Pastors is very different. The  material on just one of them, Paul Waugh, the Coordinator of Newcastle Street Pastors - Newcastle-on-Tyne, not Newcastle-under-Lyme may make him realize that not all of them are 'amazing.' I discuss many, many Street Pastors. None of them could be called 'amazing.'  Paul Waugh 'worships' at Regent Chapel, which subscribes to the 'Nashville Statement on Human Sexuality. Regent Chapel is a 'Hell for All' Church - all people are destined for condemnation, in the place traditionally called 'Hell,' except for the small minority who have a personal belief in Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour. Steve Edge may have the same beliefs. Perhaps he could clarify his position, so that people in his  police area know where they stand.


    Quotation from the Regent Chapel Website:


    We are signatories of the Nashville Statement on human sexuality - please see for more information



    Extracts from the 'Nashville Statement:'


    Article 1.
    We deny that God has designed marriage to be a homosexual, polygamous or polyamorouse relationship. We also deny that marriage is a mere human contract rather than a covenant made before God.


    Article 2.
    We affirm that God's revealed will is for all people's chastity outside of marriage and fidelity within marriage.
    We deny that any affections, desires or commitments ever justify sexual intercourse outside marriage, nor do they justify any form of sexual immorality.


    Article 4.

    We affirm that divinely affirmed differences between male and female reflect God's original creation design and are meant for human good and human flourishing.

    We deny that adopting a homosexual or transgender self-conception is consistent with God's holy purposes in creation and redemption.


    Article 8.
    We deny that sexual attraction for the same sex is part of the natural goodness of God's original creation.


    Article 9.
    We affirm that sin distorts sexual desires by directing them away from the marriage covenant and towards sexual immorality - a distortion that includes both heterosexual and homosexual immorality


    Article 10.
    We affirm that it is sinful to approve of homosexual immorality or transsexual immorality and that such approval constitutes an essential departure from Christian faithfulness and witness.


    Article 12.

    We affirm that the grace of God in Christ gives both merciful pardon and transforming power, and that this pardon and power enable a follower of Jesus to put to death sinful desires and to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord.


    South Yorkshire Police 
    Lead Chaplain: Vacant
    Whoever may be appointed Lead Police Chaplain, I intend to comment. Does the new Chaplain share the beliefs on salvation of the Christian Police Association? Does the new Chaplain believe that police officers killed on duty who haven't any belief in Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour  'will be condemned from God’s presence forever?'  And other issues.


    West Yorkshire Police 
    Lead Chaplain: Mr Dudley Martin
    Dudley Martin is a member of Huddersfied Christian Fellowship, an evangelical group with a firm belief in the truth of the Bible and a firm belief that only people who accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour will have 'eternal life.' The rest are condemned. 'The rest' includes everyone that Dudley Martin comes into contact with in his everyday activities. Unless Dudley Martin and other Christians can convert them all and give them the necessary belief, they will all be eternally separated from God - police officers of all ranks, loving mothers and fathers - and their children, every single one. 

    Cheshire Constabulary 
    Lead Chaplain: Revd Tony Hunt
    Cumbria Constabulary 
    Lead Chaplain: Revd Ian Grainger


    Greater Manchester Police 
    Lead Chaplain: Revd Charles Nevin

    From the page


    This Sunday marks National Police Memorial Day - a day when officers are encouraged to reflect upon colleagues who have lost their lives in the line of duty.

    In this article, Lead Chaplain for GMP (Greater Manchester Police), Reverend Charles Nevin, takes a moment to reflect and offer a prayer ahead of the event.

    Each time I visit Sedgley Park I like to spend a few moments sitting in the Memorial Garden. It is an oasis of peace and tranquility away from the busyness of life. A place to hold in prayer those whose names are recorded in this space. To be reminded of their sacrifice, their devotion to duty and their bravery. Ordinary women and men faithfully protecting others, but who in so doing paid the ultimate price. We remember them for:

    • their courage and devotion to duty.
    • their example of sacrifice.
    • their bravery and fortitude.
    • the memories we treasure and the love we shared.

    On a wider canvas every September we hold a national event to acknowledge all police officers who have died, often violently, as they willingly fulfilled their duties of the ‘office of constable’. We acknowledge their sacrifice and grieve for their loss. Each life precious and deeply missed.

    A non-Christian can endorse these thoughts and feelings without complications or reservations, most Christians surely not. They are constrained by their beliefs, in particular, beliefs I return to again and again in my pages on Christianity.

    I've explained myself in so many other places on this page and other pages, so I'll simply quote this Statement of Belief from the Christian Police Association, which makes clear that of the police officers killed on duty, only the ones with a faith in Christ as Lord and Saviour are saved.


    We Believe


    That the soul of a person is eternal and that there will be a physical resurrection of the body for everyone who will then be judged by the Lord Jesus Christ. Those who have died having believed and received forgiveness will be raised, and together with those believers who are still alive, will be taken to live with Christ forever. Those who have refused to believe will be condemned from God’s presence forever.


    Lancashire Constabulary 
    Lead Chaplain: Revd Steve Cowles
    Merseyside Police 
    Lead Chaplain: Rev Claire Henderson-Davis

    East Midlands
    Derbyshire Constabulary 
    Lead Chaplain: Ami Lindo
    Leicestershire Constabulary 
    Lead Chaplain: Ted Hutchin
    Lincolnshire Police 
    Deputy Lead Chaplain: Tanya Lord
    Northamptonshire Police 
    Lead Chaplain: Revd Canon Stephen Trott
    Nottinghamshire Police 
    Lead Chaplain: Currently Vacant

    West Midlands
    Staffordshire Police 
    Lead Chaplain: Revd Stephen Parker
    Warwickshire Police 
    Lead Chaplain: Matthew Hopley
    West Mercia Police 
    Lead Chaplain: Revd Dick Johnson
    West Midlands Police 
    Lead Chaplain: Revd John Butcher

    Bedfordshire Police 
    Contact: PS Ashton Miranda
    Cambridgeshire Constabulary 
    Lead chaplain: Revd Dr Lynda Taylor
    Essex Police 
    Chaplaincy coordinators: Jeff Appleby & Elaine Wakeling
    Hertfordshire Constabulary 
    Lead Chaplain: Mr Louis Spring
    Norfolk Constabulary 
    Lead Chaplain: Revd Richard Whall
    Suffolk Constabulary 
    Lead Chaplain: Revd Jeanette Gosney

    Hampshire Constabulary 
    Lead Chaplain: Revd Dominic Jones
    Kent Police 
    Lead Chaplain: Revd Barry Knott
    Surrey Police 
    Lead Chaplain: Frances Novillo
    Thames Valley Police 
    Lead Chaplain: Revd Helen Arnold

    Avon and Somerset Constabulary 
    Lead Chaplain: Revd Andy Paget
    Devon and Cornwall Constabulary 
    Co-Lead Chaplain: Sarah Jeffrey
    Dorset Police 
    Lead Chaplain: Revd Simon Evans
    Gloucestershire Constabulary 
    Chaplaincy Coordinator: Alistair Hammett
    Wiltshire Constabulary 
    Interim Lead Chaplain: Rev David Fiddy

    City of London Police 
    Contact Chaplain: Mr Tony Thomas


    Metropolitan Police Service 
    Lead Chaplain: Revd Jonathan Osborne


    For the time being, these comments are very concise. I'm aware of the standing of Jonathan Osborne, the honours bestowed on him, his obvious awareness of the horrors of terrorism, to give just one example of his insights. I'm sure about these things, and others.


    What I'm unsure about is his attitude, guided by his Christian faith, to the victims of terrorist action and to a much wider group of people, including loving mothers and fathers, the Jews murdered by Nazis in concentration and extermination camps, members of the armed forces, MP's, the people who did backbreaking work in mines and factories and still do.


     I can ask this question, but I think it's unlikely he will be willing to provide an answer, to put the answer in the public domain. Does he or doesn't he subscribe to the doctrine that if a person never makes the commitment to Jesus Christ as personal Lord and Saviour, the person is eternally separated from Christ, in the place often called Hell, at any rate a state very different from the rewards of believing in Christ, allegedly?


    The 'work' of Christian Police Chaplains is very different from the work of police officers of all ranks, which is sometimes dangerous, often demanding, often unpleasant, often rewarding, very varied. The Police Chaplains have a far, far chance of being injured or killed, of course, except for the ones who combine work as active police officers with work as police chaplains. 

    Christian Police Chaplains would probably regard their work as very rewarding all the time and central to the work of the police but tmost members of the public would disagree. Even many Christians wouldn't regard the work of Christian Police Chaplains as central, very important. The majority of members of the public would think that Police Chaplains make a  negligible contribution. More likely, they never give any thought to these Chaplains. That's how unimportant they are, to these people. 

    In the Second World War, the overwhelmingly important contribution of the Armed Forces is recognized - the contribution soldiers of the British Army, the Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force - but the contribution of the Armed Forces Chaplains is regarded as completely unimportant, except to the Chaplains themselves. Even committed Christians are likely to share the appreciation for the troops who actually did the fighting.

    From the very impressive book 'Lancaster Target' by Jack Currie:

    'Much of the airman's ethos, if not exactly superstitious, was of necessity based on faith, and sometimes that faith was unsupported, as when it was placed in wishful intelligence assessments, in unreliable or outdated weapons, and in invisible commanders. But sometimes it had a firmer basis: the skill of the ground crews, the care of the controllers, the courage of the air-sea rescue men and, far from least, the strength of the aircraft's components and systems.

    'Certainly the Rolls-Royce engines rarely gave us reason for concern: they churned on hour after hour, apparently immune to the effects of rain, snow, hail or sleet.

    And this:

    ' ... we didn't bother the MO [Medical Officer] much. We troubled the Padre even less. He was a cheerful, bespectacled man, with whom we might have had a closer contact under normal circumstances, but he wore a squadron leader's uniform, which seemed an irrelevance to me and gave him an exclusive status which I didn't think he'd want ...

    ' ... As far as I knew, the padre had in his command one airman clerk ... '

    Religious Education teachers have very low ranking in most schools, apart from faith schools, and even faith schools have priorities other than religious belief, such as academic results. The Chaplains of schools which have Chaplains are probably of peripheral importance in general.


    The Websites of Churches and Church organizations are vastly different: Christian belief as central to society, their work transforming communities, transforming the life of the nation, prayer regarded as a vital activity.




















Capability: Christianity, policing and an abuse of power


This section is followed by the section


Appreciation of the police, including South Yorkshire Police


First of all, an extract from a long email I sent to the Allotment Officer on 6 October, 2021. I provide a copy of the complete email in full in the first column of the page. I pointed out difficulties to do with security and safety, allotment law and practicalities in emails  to the Officer and to Lu Skerratt-Love, who had publicized plans to set up a

Garden Church in allotments very near to my own. As I make clear, the email never reached her, because Tim Ling had blocked emails from me to members of the Church Army. I gave reasons why I took the view that starting a garden church in Sheffield was undesirable and could have unintended consequences. In the extract below, I point out that when an 'allotment church' was started in Blackburn, Jill Duff, the Bishop of Lancaster attended:


 Jill Duff 'is an outspoken opponent of same-sex marriage and supports a view of sexual relations which has now become very uncommon in this country, but not in the Church of England. She has conservative evangelical views according to which the vast mass of people are destined for hell ... '


The extract from my email to the Allotment Officer.


The Garden Church Facebook page mentions at one point the use of the land to promote what is referred to as 'mission.' The word has a special meaning for Christians. This is a commonly cited definition:

'A Christian mission is an organized effort to spread Christianity to new converts.'

The Facebook Page of the Garden Church has a photograph of an existing 'allotment church,' showing Jill Duff, the Bishop of Lancaster, with adults and children. Three of the children and one adult were baptized by the bishop at an event at the 'allotment church.' It's completely clear that one of the main aims of this allotment church is to convert non-Christians.

This is how Sharon Collins, who is associated with the 'allotment church,' describes the 'mission' of the allotment church. She moved to an estate and then

' We began prayer walking in earnest around the estate, laying hands on and claiming places for Jesus and just crying out, when we got given the use of a disused allotment in the community, which means we could once again meet to worship and we became a very public and visible church. 

"It's a very strategic position that God has thrown the doors out for us. So it is wonderful to be there. There's some fencing that surrounds the allotment and we use that as well for mission. [Bold print supplied by me.] So we often put posters up with Bible verses on them or with words of encouragement on them.'

Jill Duff, the Bishop of Lancaster who attended and baptized at the 'allotment church' has views which should be more widely known. She's an outspoken opponent of same-sex marriage and supports a view of sexual relations which has now become very uncommon in this country, but not in the Church of England. She has conservative evangelical views according to which the vast mass of people are destined for hell - only those who accept Christ as their personal Lord and Saviour are 'saved.

As I've pointed out, Sheffield City Council is under no obligation to make land available for 'missionary' work. Its obligation is very different - to supply allotment land to those wanting to cultivate it for (primarily) fruit and vegetables. People who take on allotments will have a wide range of views on religion and related matters. It's completely unfair to allow a group with one particular set of views to make allotments into a temporary church.


I've an extensive page on the issue, 'Capability: Christianity, policing and an abuse of power in education. The visit of South Yorkshire Police on a previous occasion was the culmination of a process which began with a blatantly unfair decision by a Christian Headteacher. This is a case with a long and complex history, described, with comment, on my page


A short introduction to the page: In 2015, there was a knock at my door, I admitted the Police Constable and she presented me with a document. The very recent document was a 'Community Protection Notice: Written Warning' On that occasion,it was a 'Harassment Warning.' Both documents were issued without the least attempt to find out if I had a defence against the complaints, after hearing only one side.  I certainly did have a defence against the earlier complaint - and a defence against all the complaints which form part of this very disturbing series.


One difference between the complaint I intend to make to the Independent Office for Police Conduct concerning South Yorkshire Police and the complaints made by Lu Skerratt-Love about me is that I have very extensive evidence and thorough documentation to support my complaint against South Yorkshire Police, whilst Lu Skerratt-Love seems to have ignored the need for evidence -  sufficient evidence to support her claims - and South Yorkshire Police seems to have neglected the need for evidence -  sufficient evidence to justify action on their part.


Like the 'Community Protection Notice,' the 'Harassment Document'  came with a written warning:


' ... if the kind of behaviour described here were to continue, then you would be liable to arrest and prosecution.'


Crime Ref: K/116966/15


The 'kind of behaviour' which made me liable to arrest and prosecution if it were to continue was simply this: I'd called a person a 'blundering buffoon' in a  phone message  and in an email to him. The document claimed that I'd used the phrase 'blundering' buffoon in connection with his wife, but this is completely untrue.

Just a few details here. The page on 'Capability: Christianity, policing and an abuse of power in education' gives the details but here, I don't discuss the 'abuse of power in education. I was accused of harassment but I strongly feel that it's South Yorkshire Police harassing me.


According to the Document presented to me, issued without hearing my testimony, issued after the police had only heard one version of events - just like the recent Community Protection Notice - Written Warning,'  the complainers - their names are Andrew and Chris Conheeney -  had complained that I'd used the phrase 'blundering buffoon' in an email to Andrew Conheeney and I'd used the phrase 'blundering buffoons' in a phone message to Andrew and Chris Conheeney. I'd phoned their number but there was no answer, so I left a recorded message. I only used the phrase in connection with Andrew Conheeney.


 The force decided that this case was sufficiently serious to merit Police Action. Chief Inspector Ian Proffitt, whose police speciality is or used to be 'Hate Crime'  has even given this advice to the public - use the 999 number if necessary - South Yorkshire Police seemed to have a category of emergency hate crime! Otherwise, use the overloaded 101 number to report it.


The police car that came to my house didn't drive at speed, with siren on, so this case obviously wasn't regarded as an emergency.


Was South Yorkshire Police claiming the right to police emails? Was South Yorkshire Police claiming that an email which used the words 'blundering buffoon' was a reason for threatening an individual with criminal sanctions for using these words? Did South Yorkshire really think that a private phone conversation in which I used the words 'blundering buffoon,' a phone conversation with people I knew well and had mixed with socially - I attended a social event at their house, one of the people had been to my house - justified this use of police time and police resources?


Before all this, Andrew Conheeney had complained to my Head of Department about me, a bizarre complaint if ever there was one.  He'd claimed that there was a patch of water on the floor of the laboratory where I taught. He'd claimed that the patch of water was my fault. He persisted with his claim over a period of months. I tend to be very thorough and I wrote documents for him and the Head of Department on various aspects of this grotesque case. He didn't reply to any of them, he simply persisted. After he'd wasted my time and the Head of Department's time, the episode came to an end. The Head of Department said to me wearily: 'You've won.'


From my Capability page: Extracts from the article published in the 'Evening Standard:'


South Yorkshire Police relentlessly mocked after urging people to report one another for 'offensive or insulting words'

The article quotes this tweet from South Yorkshire Police:


'In addition to reporting hate crime, please report non-crime hate incidents, which can include things like offensive or insulting comments, online, in person or in writing. Hate will not be tolerated in South Yorkshire. Report it and put a stop to it.'


'It was relentlessly mocked, with more than 5,000 responses to the Sunday night post. Many people likened the force to George Orwell's "Thought Police” from his novel Nineteen Eighty-Four.'

'Scottish political analysis account Wings Over Scotland tweeted: “So just to be clear: you want me to phone the police when there hasn't been a crime but someone's feelings have been hurt?” '

Alan Billings, the South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner, has defended the force's view of its role - as having the right and the duty to investigate a whole range of incidents which aren't crimes. This, to me, is Alan Billings acting the part of South Yorkshire Thought Police and Hate Crime Commissioner.

Nick Ferrari interviewed Alan Billings on lbc radio. This gives a link to the interview, with other material.




'After South Yorkshire Police asked the public to report incidents in which they were offended, Nick Ferrari had this fiery clash with their Police and Crime Commissioner.



'In a time when the police are stretched due to budget cuts, Nick was furious that they are wasting resources on incidents that aren't even crimes.


'Speaking to Dr Alan Billings, South Yorkshire's Police and Crime Commissioner, Nick told him:

"If a motorist cuts another motorist up in Rotherham and one says the other a few choice words, we now have to get the police involved, do we?


' "You've got enough police men and women, do you, to come and talk to me about it?"


'And as Nick pressed Dr Billings on the plan, it fell apart more and more.


'The conversation even ended with Nick having to warn the Police and Crime Commissioner not to make comments about an incident as it was still a live court case.'


Appreciation of the police, including South Yorkshire Police




The section in the first column of the page contains criticism, but not in the least criticism of South Yorkshire Police as a whole. The section below is about my appreciation for the work of the police, including South Yorkshire Police. This is an extract from existing material on another page of the site, the page which discusses the work of Street Pastors, with some additional material:


'So much criticism of  police forces in this country seems to me to be unfair, failing to recognize that in organizations which are large and complex, facing a very wide range of problems, in the case of the police, very demanding problems as varied as knife crime and gun crime, sexual abuse and property crime, the difficulties of vulnerable people, and so many others, facing demands from so many members of the public which are impossible to satisfy, it's inevitable that some people - many people - will be left unsatisfied -  the familiar, intractable difficulty of finite resources and infinite - or very great - demands.


The police forces have many, many employees, of course, and, human nature being what it is, it's very likely that from time to time a small percentage will make serious mistakes, which are rightly publicized by the media. Very often, criticism which  should be specific  becomes generalized, amounting to a general indictment of the police. It becomes grossly unfair. Honest criticism is one thing but again and again,  the strengths of the police forces are overlooked. The strengths of the police forces, including South Yorkshire Police, are massive strengths, far outweighing the weaknesses and the outright blunders.


A short extract from the Sky News Website:


Cressida Dick resignation: Metropolitan Police Federation says it has 'no faith' in London Mayor Sadiq Khan.


The body claims comments made by Mr Khan have "undermined the professional, dedicated and incredibly difficult work of tens of thousands of hard-working and brave police officers from across the capital".


Ken Marsh, chairman of the federation, said the atmosphere among officers was at "rock bottom" following the resignation of Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick.


Accusing politicians of using "policing and the career of the country's most senior police leader to deflect from their own failings", Mr Marsh said: "This is not a move we take lightly.'


I agree with the Federation.


In a role which is particularly important, protection of the public from violent crime, the police forces rarely fail, and in all their other roles, the successes surely outweigh the failures. But I'd want to put it much more strongly than that.

Police officers risk injury and sometimes death. Street Pastors are overwhelmingly unlikely to be injured let alone killed on the streets at night, but they are ready to portray themselves as 'on the front line,' doing a vital job, and more than that, doing hazardous work.


The site


gives the information that in the year ending March 2021, there were about 37, 000 assaults on police officers in England and Wales. There were 11, 235 cases of 'assaults with injury on a constable.'


An extract which conveys  the intense difficulties so often faced by police officers but not faced by Street Pastors, or not nearly as often. Although Street Pastors may be in close proximity to incidents of aggression, almost always, the aggression isn't aimed at them.


From the Website of the National Police Chiefs' Council


'The spit guard is a lightweight mesh garment that is placed over a person’s head to help minimise the risks of communicable diseases (blood borne viruses (BBV)) and injuries associated with a suspect spitting and biting. A Spit Guard will not prevent every injury through spitting or biting, it will not prevent the first instance of spitting. However there are circumstances where a suspect is deliberately spitting saliva and possibly blood, where officers need to be in close proximity to them in order to achieve a lawful objective e.g. searching, preventing self-harm etc where the use of Spit Guard can effectively minimise the risks to officers. Spit Guards cannot prevent the blunt trauma injury from biting, however they can reduce the transfer of bodily fluids in these cases.'


The work of the police calls for a very wide range of skills and personal strengths. Some of the situations they have to deal with call for immense courage, others for tact and sensitivity. I remember  well one instance where I found the response of a member of South Yorkshire Police very, very impressive. I was at the house of some grandparents and their grandchild was there. They'd helped to bring  her up in the child's early years but this was much later. There have been psychiatric issues of some severity, and the police officer had been called to help with one of these episodes. The police officer responded with immense skill. His words were ones which seemed to me to be very helpful, ones which would be very likely to lower the emotional tension and in the event achieved this.


I don't find all of the Bible impossible to take seriously. This, from Ecclesiastes 3, is one of the exceptions:


3 There is a time for everything,
    and a season for every activity under the heavens:

2     a time to be born and a time to die,
    a time to plant and a time to uproot,
3     a time to kill and a time to heal,
    a time to tear down and a time to build,
4     a time to weep and a time to laugh,
    a time to mourn and a time to dance,
5     a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
    a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
6     a time to search and a time to give up,
    a time to keep and a time to throw away,
7     a time to tear and a time to mend,
    a time to be silent and a time to speak,
8     a time to love and a time to hate,
    a time for war and a time for peace.


The immense variety of police work calls for very different responses: for example, a time for empathy and sympathy and a time for force.


This is from my page on Israel - a defence of Israel, although appreciation and admiration are more appropriate than 'defence.' This is a country, after all, which has shown such ability to defend itself. It concerns the use of force by the armed forces of democracies but some of it is applicable to the police, such as defence of the public against terrorists and other fanatics, the need to put excesses, mistakes, blunders on one side, in the context of overall success, successes which far outweigh any excesses, mistakes and blunders.


It's a gross misconception to believe that totalitarian states, such as the Nazi state, may kill many civilians and destroy many civilian homes, but that democratic states, such as Britain, the United States and Israel, can be expected always to fight wars without sometimes killing civilians and destroying civilian homes. [This is obviously not applicable to police work.]

It's a gross misconception to equate Israelis with Nazis, just as it's a gross misconception to equate the British and the Americans with the Nazis, or to claim that the British and Americans were no better than the Japanese at the time of the Second World War.


When a democracy is fighting for survival, in the midst of extreme danger, then the measured response which is approved by armchair critics is an ideal not always attained - impossible of attainment.

To overcome fanatical opposition, the armed forces of a democratic state often have no alternative but to use extreme force. To use slight force would be to guarantee defeat or make it far more likely.


All the same, the armed forces of democracies have often used force which was excessive and cannot claim to have never broken the rules of war.    

Excesses, mistakes, blunders are often pounced on and taken as evidence that the forces of a democracy responsible for excesses, mistakes and blunders - generally committed under conditions of acute danger and danger which is not short-lived but which has tested the courage and stamina of the democratic forces in extreme ways - are just the same or almost as bad as their opponents. I find it essential to use the concept of 'outweighing,' which I explain on the page Ethics: theory and practice. The excesses, mistakes and blunders are considered as part of an overall ((survey))


    South Yorkshire Police: a knock at the door