Police officer investigated after telling busker not to sing ‘church songs’

  • london
  • January 29, 2024
  • Comments Off on Police officer investigated after telling busker not to sing ‘church songs’
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A volunteer police officer who told a busker she couldn’t sing Christian worship music on a high street faces an internal investigation.

The special constable was filmed stopping street singer Harmonie London, 20, from performing on London’s busy Oxford Street over the weekend.

She was heard telling Harmonie: ‘No miss, you’re not allowed to sing church songs outside of church grounds, by the way.’

Busking in public is legal provided artists obey certain rules such as not making too much noise, and none of them refer to the type of music being played.

A special licence is needed to perform in parts of central London, including Oxford Street, but there is no indication Harmonie did not have one.

The 20-year-old was heard protesting the officer’s claims.

But the constable insisted she cannot sing ‘outside of church grounds unless you have been authorised by the church to do these kind of songs’.

Harmonie replied: ‘That’s a load of rubbish, you’re allowed.’

But the officer began walking away, while a colleague added: ‘She’s not saying anything anymore, thank you for your time.’

She then turned to the camera and stuck her tongue out.

The Metropolitan Police has admitted the officer ‘could have handled this differently’ and said it is ‘working to understand the context in which these comments were made’.

She is ‘speaking to her manager’, the force said, adding that it’s reviewing bodycam footage of the incident.

Harmonie claims the incident breached her right to freedom of religion under the Human Rights Act.

She was backed by supporters, including Gillian Hamilton, who said: ‘That is disgusting behaviour from a police officer especially at the end.’

Norman Brennan, a former police officer and anti-crime campaigner, also tweeted: ‘Folks, this is not a good look. Some of us are trying hard to help policing get back public lost support respect and confidence and this does not help.’ 

Former Tory minister Ann Widdecombe called for the constable to be ‘struck off from the voluntary force’.

Norman Brennan, a former police officer and anti-crime campaigner, posted on X: ‘Folks, this is not a good look. Some of us are trying hard to help policing get back public lost support respect and confidence and this does not help.’ 

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