Cumbria Police have paid £4,000 plus legal costs to a Christian street preacher in settlement of a case of wrongful arrest and unlawful detention.
Dale Mcalpine from Workington in Cumbria said the result was a positive outcome ‘for Christians across the country’.
He says he hopes his case will encourage others. He said, ‘As long as you are reasonable in your preaching you should have nothing to fear from the police’.
Back in July 2018 Mr Mcalpine was arrested by police officers in Kendal town centre. He was taken to Kendal Police Station, where he was held for questioning.
After being released without bail he was left in limbo for six months until the police eventually notified him that he would not be prosecuted.
The Christian Institute’s Legal Defence Fund supported him in a claim against Cumbria Police.
The claim was for wrongful arrest and false imprisonment. The police opted to settle the case without going to court.
Mr Mcalpine, who has been a street preacher for nearly 15 years, said, ‘I believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and his message of salvation and I want everyone to hear about it.
‘I took this legal action to help the police realise you cannot arrest people just for preaching the Gospel’.
‘This is a free country and I’m grateful for our freedoms. I’m also extremely grateful to The Christian Institute for helping me take a stand. I couldn’t have done it without them’.
Simon Calvert, Deputy Director for Public Affairs at The Christian Institute, welcomed the news. He said, ‘This is a positive outcome, not just for Dale, but for Christians across the country.
‘It’s a reminder that there is no law against preaching the Gospel. Our country has a rich heritage of free speech, for preachers and for everybody else’.
Mr Mcalpine said he had decided to donate the £4,000 to The Christian Institute, ‘so they can continue to help Christians to fight for religious liberty’.
Mike Judge, editor