Feeds

City anti-Scientology protestor avoids court summons

Prosecutors define 'threatening, abusive or insulting'

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

A teenage anti-Scientology protestor who was issued with notice of a court summons by City of London police will not be prosecuted, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has decided.

The boy was slapped with the notice at a demonstration by the Anonymous movement outside Scientology's UK HQ in the heart of London's financial district on 10 May.

Online campaigners were outraged after police said his sign reading "Scientology is not a religion, it's a dangerous cult" was a breach of Section Five of the Public Order Act 1986. City of London officers served notice despite the boy quoting a High Court ruling that branded the sect a cult.

A statement from City of London Police today sheepishly conceded that its officers have some legal boning up to do. It confirmed the case has been dropped, and said: "The CPS review of the case includes advice on what action or behaviour at a demonstration might be considered to be 'threatening, abusive or insulting'. The force's policing of future demonstrations will reflect this advice."

The CPS said: "Our advice is that it is not abusive or insulting and there is no offensiveness (as opposed to criticism), neither in the idea expressed nor in the mode of expression."

The BBC reports that the boy's proud mother called the decision "a victory for free speech".

Protestors who brandished similar slogans to the teenager at a simultaneous protest by Anonymous outside Scientology's Tottenham Court Road location, which was policed by the Met, were not ordered to lay down their placards.

Scientology is a sensitive subject for City of London police. The force's relationship to the organisation has been under close scrutiny since Chief Superintendant Kevin Hurley welcomed it to the square mile in 2006. It later emerged officers had accepted hospitality including tickets to a Tom Cruise film premiere. ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
WHY did Sunday Mirror stoop to slurping selfies for smut sting?
Tabloid splashes, MP resigns - but there's a BIG copyright issue here
Spies, avert eyes! Tim Berners-Lee demands a UK digital bill of rights
Lobbies tetchy MPs 'to end indiscriminate online surveillance'
How the FLAC do I tell MP3s from lossless audio?
Can you hear the difference? Can anyone?
Google hits back at 'Dear Rupert' over search dominance claims
Choc Factory sniffs: 'We're not pirate-lovers - also, you publish The Sun'
While you queued for an iPhone 6, Apple's Cook sold shares worth $35m
Right before the stock took a 3.8% dive amid bent and broken mobe drama
Inequality increasing? BOLLOCKS! You heard me: 'Screw the 1%'
There's morality and then there's economics ...
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.