Re: Swearing at police...unbelievable...

"Anthony R. Gold" <not-for-mail@xxxxxxxxxx> wrote in message
On Sun, 12 Oct 2008 03:21:47 -0700 (PDT), Webmanager_CritEst
<webmanager@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

On Oct 12, 11:19 am, "Dr Zoidberg" <AlexNOOO!!!!!...@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
"Spamhater" <ab...@xxxxxxx> wrote in
Since when have police had the right to arrest someone for the
of someone swearing at the police?

For pretty much as long as there have been police , and since 1986 using
most commonly applied law.

Do you think it's right that people should be allowed to verbally abuse
other people (be they police or not)?


"I laugh in the face of danger , then I hide until it goes away"

It's not just right, it's a Human Right.

Agreed, so long as it is unlikely to cause harassment, alarm or distress
those who hear it. If one utters a foul oath at a policemen when no one
else is around then to be an offence that constable must swear to the
of their being caused harassment, alarm or distress (and which IMO would
grounds for showing the constable was unsuited to that form of

Sometimes (often? I don't know - maybe a magistrate could tell us) the
courts have sympathy with a member of the public who swears at a police

Kinnaird v Higson
K was charged with breach of the peace and resisting arrest, contrary to the
Police (Scotland) Act 1967 s.41. K had been approached by two police
officers who believed that there was a warrant for his arrest and was asked
to wait while the existence of the warrant was checked. K replied "fuck off"
and tried to walk away three times. K was arrested for breach of the peace
and pushed one of the officers. K was acquitted of breach of the peace and
there was no finding that K had shouted or that his behaviour had caused or
was likely to cause alarm or distress. K was convicted of the statutory
offence and appealed to the High Court.
Held, allowing the appeal and quashing the conviction, that it could not be
said that the police officer had any basis upon which to reasonably conclude
that a breach of the peace had been or was about to be committed. There was,
therefore, no lawful basis for the arrest.
Court: (HCJ Appeal) High Court of Justiciary (Appeal)
Judge: Lord Prosser; Lord Eassie; Lord Kingarth
Judgment date: April 24, 2001

Nawrot and Shaler v DPP
N, S and others jeered and made insulting noises at a police officer, X. S
and Y walked deliberately into X. Y offered to fight X. N abused and swore
at X. X, though not anticipating a breach of the peace, arrested N. N
struggled and S and another joined in and kicked X.
Held, allowing N's appeal against conviction of abusing a constable in the
execution of his office (contrary to the Justices of the Peace Act 1361) and
appeals of N and S against convictions of assaulting a constable in the
execution of his duty and of using threatening, etc. behaviour whereby a
breach of the peace was likely to be occasioned, that (inter alia)(1) there
was no power to arrest for abusing a constable; (2) there was no evidence
that X believed a breach of the peace had occurred or was likely; (3)
attempting escape could not be unlawful when the arrest was unlawful.
Court: (QBD) Queen's Bench Division
Judge: Parker, L.J.; Kennedy, J.
Judgment date: October 21, 1987

Read v Jones
J, on passing a police car leaned in through its open window, swore at the
officer and pulled him towards him. The officers got out of the car and
arrested J. C and S were standing nearby but not involved in J's actions. C
and S started swearing at other officers at the scene and when they did not
leave were arrested. In the course of the arrest there were scuffles and C
struck an officer in the stomach. J, C and S all formed one group. Although
the incident took place in a public place there were no other members of the
public who witnessed the incident, the nearest were some 30 yards away and
showed no inclination to get involved. J was charged with assaulting an
officer in the execution of his duty. C and S were charged with conduct
likely to cause a breach of the peace and C was charged with assaulting an
officer in the course of his duty. The justices convicted J, but dismissed
the charges against C and S. The justices decided, following Marsh v.
Arscott that no breach of the peace was likely to be occasioned by the
behaviour of C and S as the only persons present were police officers. The
justices further decided that therefore the officer had no power to arrest C
and that the assault by C on the police officer constituted the use of
reasonable force to resist arrest.
Held, upon the case stated requested by the prosecution, that having regard
to the facts as found by the justices they were entitled to dismiss the
charges against C and S. Where a group of persons are involved, justices
should consider whether a breach of the peace is likely to be caused within
the group itself notwithstanding the absence of additional members of the
public (Marsh v Arscott (1982) 75 Cr. App. R. 211, [1983] C.L.Y. 749
Court: (DC) Divisional Court
Judge: Ackner, L.J.; Glidewell, J.
Judgment date: May 19, 1983


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