Police investigate people who purchase Charlie Hebdo…Worrying about free speech in Corsham

Posted: 11 February, 2015 in Police Censorship
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Read more UK News at MelonFarmers.co.uk

Letter to the Editor of the Guardian:

letter writing Your offer of commemorative badges in support of journalistic freedom highlighting Je suis Charlie , prompts me to suggest a degree of caution following my experience.

Tongue in cheek, I asked my helpful newsagents to obtain a copy of the edition of Charlie Hebdo issued after the dreadful massacre in Paris, if indeed a copy was ever available in north Wiltshire.

To my surprise, a copy arrived last Wednesday week and although the standard of content in no way matches that of the Guardian I will cherish it.

However, two days later a member of Her Majesty’s police service visited said newsagent, requesting the names of the four customers who had purchased Charlie Hebdo. So beware, your badges may attract police interest in your customers.

Corsham, Wiltshire

Update: Police admit that they were monitoring people who bought Charlie Hebdo

10th February 2015. See  article from  theguardian.com

wiltshire police logo A British police force has apologised after a policeman told a newsagent to hand over details of customers who purchased copies of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.

Wiltshire police confirmed that a policeman visited a newsagent in Corsham, Wiltshire, to ask for the names of four customers who ordered the commemorative survivors’ issue of the magazine.

In a statement, Wiltshire police apologised to the members of the public who may be affected by this and said they had deleted the details from their system. A spokeswoman said:

Following the terrorism incident in Paris, France on 7 January 2015, Wiltshire police undertook an assessment of community tensions across the county. As part of this work, local sector policing teams were asked to be mindful of business premises, in particular newsagents who may be distributing the Charlie Hebdo magazine and to consider that these shops may be vulnerable.

Update: Nous Sommes Stazi

11th February 2015. See  article from  theguardian.com

police dyfed-powys logo Several British police forces have questioned newsagents in an attempt to snoop into sales of a special edition of Charlie Hebdo magazine, the Guardian has learned.

Officers in Wiltshire, Wales and Cheshire have approached retailers of the magazine, it has emerged, as concerns grew about why police were attempting to trace UK-based readers of the French satirical magazine.

In at least two cases, in Wiltshire and in Presteigne, Wales, officers have requested that newsagents hand over the names of customers who bought the magazine.

Paul Merrett the owner of a newsagent in Presteigne, Wales, said a detective and a police community support officer from Dyfed-Powys police spent half an hour asking his wife  about the magazine and who bought it. Merrett related:

My wife said, ‘Am I in trouble?’ because she thought she was in trouble for selling them. They said, ‘No, you’re not in trouble’ but just continued with their questioning for half an hour.

It was all about Charlie Hebdo. I guess they wanted names and addresses of people we sold them to, which we didn’t tell them anything like that. We sold 30 copies.

In Warrington, Cheshire, a police officer telephoned a newsagent seeking information about an issue of the magazine for a customer.


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