‘This is tantamount to harassment by the police’

6 October 2020

Street preacher Mike Overd has won the freedom to keep sharing the gospel on the streets of Avon and Somerset.

At a High Court hearing yesterday, the judge rejected a heavy-handed attempt by police to suppress his preaching with a civil injunction application. The police claimed that his preaching caused ‘significant risk or harm to others’, even suggesting that lives might be at risk. If granted, the order would have threatened Mike with arrest, imprisonment and contempt of court if he disobeyed the six proposed orders in the injunction.

The Christian Legal Centre’s Rob Smith spoke to BBC Radio Somerset about Mike’s case, explaining how over the years, he has been arrested and charged many times for preaching the gospel, “on every single occasion where he has been arrested and charged he’s been acquitted. Now, the police are quite keen to remove him from the streets, for whatever reasons of their own – hence they applied for an injunction to get him removed,” says Rob.

“It seems completely unreasonable by any objective standards that a man who is doing nothing illegal should have an injunction imposed upon him,” Rob explains. “This has become something of a vendetta by the police, to the extent where the police have even been putting things in local newspapers saying ‘look out for this man’, ‘record what he says because we want to get him off the streets’ … that’s tantamount to harassment.”

5 October 2020
BBC Radio Somerset

Find out more about Mike Overd
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