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Protest Message About Bedfordshire Police Rules Regarding Muslims

Outline
Circulating message claims to list instructions given to the Bedfordshire Police regarding police entry to Muslim households.



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Detailed analysis and references below example.



Last updated: 7th January 2011
First published: 7th January 2011
Article written by Brett M. Christensen
About Brett Christensen and Hoax-Slayer


Example
Subject: Fw: Police Instructions - Bedfordshire Police -- IMPORTANT!

THESE ARE INSTRUCTIONS HANDED OUT TO ALL OFFICERS AT C.I.D COURSES AND ANTI-TERRORISTS COURSES IN THE BEDFORDSHIRE FORCE/SERVICE

UK's Bedfordshire Police's rules regarding terrorists and dangerous criminals

If they're non-Muslim

* Consider the most opportune time of day to be able to arrest suspects with minimum resistance

* Apply all necessary force to enter the premises and arrest suspects accordingly.

If they're Muslim:

* Community leaders must be consulted before raids into Muslim houses.

* Officers must not search occupied bedrooms and bathrooms before dawn.

* Use of police dogs will be considered serious desecration of the premises.

* Cameras and camcorders should not be used in case of capturing women in inappropriate dress.

* If people are praying at home officers should stand aside and not disrupt the prayer. They should be allowed the opportunity to finish.

* Officers should take their shoes off before raiding a Muslim house.

* The reasons for pre-dawn raids on Muslim houses needs to be clear and transparent.

* Officers must not touch holy books or religious artefacts without permission.

* Muslim prisoners should be allowed to take additional clothing to the station.

With this continuing appeasement, no wonder it's now predicted that Britain will become an Islamic state by 2070. (Time to think about your children.)

PLEASE FORWARD THIS EMAIL AS WIDELY AS POSSIBLE SO THAT THE 40%+ OF BRITISH VOTERS WHO DIDN'T VOTE LAST TIME MIGHT GET THE MESSAGE. THERE'S SO LITTLE TIME LEFT!




Detailed Analysis
This message claims to contain a list of instructions given to police in Bedfordshire in the UK regarding police entry to Muslim households. The list provides information about how police should conduct themselves in Muslim households so that their activities do not offend the household's residents with regard to their religious beliefs and customs. The protest message decries what it considers to be a continued appeasement of Muslim citizens in the UK and asks recipients to pass on the information so that other British residents will be aware of the issue.

As detailed in the Bedfordshire Police statement quoted below, there are strong similarities between many of the points listed in the protest message and the actual set of guidelines provided to police. That said, however, the following information should be noted: In March 2010, the Bedfordshire Police published the following statement on its website in response to an enquiry about the protest email from a member of the public:
Dear Member of the Public,

REQUEST UNDER THE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT Reference No F-2010-00207 With reference to your request for information received on 26th February 2010, I note you seek access to the following information:

The following is an item circulating on the internet which is self explanatory.

Will you please verify to the authenticity of it as true copy or otherwise, put out by the Bedfordshire Police for guidance of its officers.

I am required by the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (The Act) to handle all requests in a manner that is blind to the identity of the requestor. Any information released in response to a request is regarded as being published, and therefore in the public domain without caveat.

In response to your questions, I have today decided to release the information requested in full as I can see no harm to any individual, the community, the police service or other bodies. After considering whether releasing this information will affect the good order and functioning of community, government or other public service affairs, I believe it is in the public's interest the information be released. The information lies within the arena of public safety and may provide common benefit to members of the community. Releasing this information will not identify any individual or compromise any court case, law enforcement or investigation.

With reference to your recent enquiry and in response to your question I can confirm the following: Response – The item you refer to is incorrect and is not ‘Bedfordshire Police’s rules regarding terrorists and dangerous criminals’ as the website claims.

Bedfordshire Police does have guidance for entering households which was derived from National Home Office / Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) guidelines. While the information on the website is not the same, there are some similarities to our guidance for some basic considerations when entering Muslim households, especially for pre-planned operations, which is summarised below:

  • Innocent occupants of a household such as women and children may be present and Police should never under-estimate the impact of any loss of their personal dignity. Muslim women may be more flexible in their choice of dress at home amongst family members than outside and police entry could contribute to a loss of dignity. Opportunity should be afforded for occupants to cover themselves sufficiently to comply with the etiquettes of "Hijab" if a non-family member is present - and that includes the head for women.

  • The same level of etiquette and respect should be observed in Muslim households as in a Muslim place of worship, such as a Mosque.Female officers must be available wherever practicable to deal with females and there should not be any cross gender contact by the officers.

  • Muslim prisoners should be allowed to take additional clothing to the station. All clothing needs to remain pure for prayer and the denial of appropriate clothing will be a very serious issue for the individual.

  • If possible, officers should not take shoes into the houses, especially in areas that might be kept pure for prayer purposes - nor should they step on any prayer mats etc. This might be difficult in some cases but needs to be seriously considered - plastic overshoes may be an option in some cases if the cleanliness/ purity of the overshoes can be maintained.

  • Non-Muslims are not allowed to touch Holy Books, Qurans, or religious artefacts without permission. In the current climate the justification for pre-dawn raids on Muslim houses needs to be clear and transparent.

  • The aftercare of those not detained must be considered. Sufficient arrangements should be made to offer alternative accommodation to those who are removed from their homes whilst lengthy searches are carried out. If they are not removed from the house they should be allowed some flexibility and privacy.

  • Deployment of family liaison officers should be considered to minimise the impact on the families and the local community.

This guidance is purely of an advisory manner and was written in 2005 at the time of the increased tensions following the 7/7 bombings and applies in the main to Counter Terrorism operations. It is made clear the advice should not impinge on, or supersede the objectives of the police action.

The same considerations and respect for faith and diversity are always applied no matter what the belief of the household, Muslim or otherwise.

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Bedfordshire Police Response

Last updated: 7th January 2011
First published: 7th January 2011
Article written by Brett M. Christensen
About Brett Christensen and Hoax-Slayer