Anthony Stevens

Councillor Anthony Stevens was arrested in front of his family for a handful of tweets defending free speech

In August 2023, Councillor Anthony Steven’s home was swooped by police without warning. He was searched in front of his wife and children, and detained at Kettering police station; over a recent tweet where he shared a petition in support of fellow Conservative councillor, King Lawal.

And in a disturbing development, Northamptonshire Police tried to intimidate and censor Councillor Stevens from speaking to the media, after he was arrested for an alleged ‘hate crime’.

Councillor Stevens said: ‘‘As far as I am aware, we do not live in a police-state where members of the public, especially democratically elected members of the public, can be arrested without warning at their home for defending free speech and then muzzled from speaking about it.’’

‘‘In a true and democratic society, you cannot have people being arrested for a few tweets. We must have debate; we must have the freedom to criticise and offend each other; otherwise this country is going to swiftly go to pot.’’

‘‘I was shocked when the police turned up at my house unannounced and came onto my property. Frankly, it was frightening, and no doubt intended to be so. I was then arrested and humiliated in front of my wife and children. Even if the police had legitimate questions to ask me (which I am yet to hear), there was no need to ambush me in my own house, arrest me, search me, keep me in the cell for the whole day, interrogate me or confiscate my phone.’’

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