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Gay police advert under investigation

October 2006

The Gay Police Association (GPA) is being investigated by Scotland Yard for an advert that blamed religion for an increase in homophobic crime. The advertisement depicted a Bible beside a pool of blood under the heading ‘In the name of the Father’.

The police are believed to have received over 40,000 complaints about the advert with more complaints being registered with the newspaper that published the advert and the Advertising Standards Committee.

The Professional Standards Department of the Police Service is also examining the conduct of the GPA in this matter. There is a possibility that the GPA are guilty of bringing the Police Service into disrepute.

The inquiry into the advertisement, which appeared in The Independent, was ordered by the same department set up to counter hate crimes such as homophobia. Detective Chief Inspector Gerry Campbell, who leads the domestic violence and hate crime unit, disclosed the investigation in a letter to Ann Widdecombe MP.

He wrote: ‘The original advertisement has been recorded as a religiously aggravated hate crime incident following a crime allegation by a member of the public. This crime is now the subject of a proportionate, effective and objective criminal investigation. The police senior investigating officer is in consultation with the Crown Prosecution Service. Any decision to prosecute is the sole decision of the CPS’

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