INFORMATION ON HOW TO RESPOND TO GAY POLICE ASSOCIATION ADVERT WHICH BLAMES THE BIBLE & CHRISTIANS FOR APPARENT 74% INCREASE IN HOMOPHOBIC VIOLENCE

Introduction

Many of you may have heard about or seen the Gay Police Association's advert, published in the Independent Newspaper on 29 June, which features a picture of the Bible next to a pool of blood beneath the title 'In the name of the father'. Many of you have asked for further information on what to do. We hope this email and its attachments will be of assistance to you. The advert is about homophobic violence and impliedly accuses Christians of bearing the responsibility for an alleged 74% increase in homophobic 'incidents' this year. Clearly this is a hurtful, antagonistic, and above all, false, claim to be made in a national newspaper. We would urge everyone who feels strongly about this issue to look at the advert (attached to this e-mail) and then respond to one or all of the following organisations:

1) Independent Police Complaints Commission; 2)The Advertising Standards Authority; 3) The Press Complaints Commission; and 4) The Independent Newspaper.

It has been reported in the news recently that Scotland Yard are investigating the Gay Police Association for committing a 'faith crime' in respect of the advert. We therefore urge that people prioritise issuing a complaint to Scotland Yard and the Independent Police Complaints Commission, so that they are aware of your views on the matter whilst they are investigating.

Below we provide full details of how to register a complaint with each of the bodies listed above, and we give sample letters for you to use as a basis to make a complaint.

1) To complain to Scotland Yard and/or the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC)

Scotland Yard urge people to report 'Faith Related incidents' and define these as 'any incident which is perceived to be based upon prejudice towards or hatred of the faith of the victim or so perceived by the victim or any other person'. The advert falls squarely within that definition. We therefore urge all Christians to report their complaint to Scotland Yard.

Our experience is that one of the most effective ways of ensuring your complaint is listened to is by avoiding use of the online complaints procedures, and using the 'old-fashioned' telephone and pen and paper.

These days the Police try and direct all their complaints through an online system (found at https://www.online.police.uk/secure/english/notifier_status.asp) but they have a duty to accept reports by those who cannot / do not wish to use the online process. Therefore please call New Scotland Yard on 0207 230 1212 and explain that you wish to report a faith related 'hate' crime but that you do not want to / cannot do it online, and therefore need to be posted a complaint form. However, an on-line complaint is better than no complaint at all. Explain that it is not an 'urgent' case (the incident is not ongoing), but do insist that you process your complaint in this way: it is perfectly reasonable to ask them to send you a complaint form so that you can write your complaint by hand, which in any case, is a more formal way of complaining. Additionally the post is a more secure method of registering a complaint than e-mail.

ALTERNATIVELY / additionally, the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) can be contacted on 08453 002 002 and the same approach should be adopted: requesting the complaint form in the post. However, should you need it, the IPCC online complaint form can be found at

http://www.ipcc.gov.uk/index/complainants/complaint_form.htm

For the substance of the complaint we suggest that you simply express how such an inflammatory advert made you feel, and why you feel it was motivated by prejudice and hatred of Christianity, focusing on the complete lack of evidence supporting the advert's insinuations about Christians and the Bible being violent and homophobic. You might also want to look at some of the sample letters (attached) to give you ideas for structuring your complaint.

2) To complain to the Advertising Standards Authority

You can write to:

The Complaints Department

Advertising Standards Authority

Mid City Place

71 High Holborn

London WC1V 6QT

Or use their online complaint form at http://www.asa.org.uk/asa/how_to_complain/complaints_form/

Attached to this e-mail is a guide letter which should be read before a complaint is made: The Advertising Standards Authority require complaints to state what specific breaches of Advertising Standards are being alleged.

3) To complain to the Press Complaints Commission

The Press Complaints Commission (PCC) can receive complaints via e-mail by using their complaint form, found at http://www.pcc.org.uk/complaints/form.html? See their general website for more information at http://www.pcc.org.uk

The PCC also require complaints to outline the exact breaches of the Press Code of Practice which have occurred, so please read the attached letter to get an idea of which breaches we think have taken place.

4) The Independent Newspaper

Complaints can be e-mailed to Simon Kelner (the editor of the Independent) at [email protected]

Andrea Minichiello Williams

LCF Public Policy Officer

0771 2591164

http://www.lawcf.org

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Websites: http://www.christianconcernforournation.co.uk and http://www.lawcf.org