Dominic Muir

Dominic was stopped by police in Dorset while lawfully street preaching during the coronavirus pandemic lockdown.

Dominic Muir, chief executive of registered Christian charities Now Believe and Jesus Fields, was interrupted by Dorset police, manhandled and then physically prevented from preaching on the back of his truck during the coronavirus lockdown.

The police officer spoke in general terms about lockdown restrictions, telling Dominic he was not allowed to preach or sing, stating that if he didn’t stop, “I am going to have to move you on.”

Although street preaching in the UK has never been illegal, during the course of the lockdown, Christian ministry in general was treated as ‘non-essential’ by the UK government, which led to a wave of police clampdowns on street preaching and even some Christian homeless ministries.

Following the incident, Dominic sought help from the Christian Legal Centre, which assisted him with a pre-action letter to the Chief Constable of Dorset Police, seeking compensation for the police assault. In response, Dorset Police have admitted that the officer acted unlawfully and have paid £1,250 in damages and costs.

Responding to the settlement, Dominic commented: “For centuries, street preaching in the UK was an honoured profession that was respected and deemed essential to people’s physical, emotional and spiritual well-being. To be shut down by the police like this represented a huge shift for me and shows the extent of society’s secularisation.”

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