Met Police apologises for officer who tried to shut down gospel singer

The Metropolitan Police has apologised after a volunteer officer told a gospel singer she could not sing Christian songs in a public place.

Harmonie London, 20, regularly sets up her keyboard and sings popular hymns and worship songs on Oxford Street in central London, but on Sunday, she was accosted by volunteer officer Maya Hadzhipetkova, who pressured her to move.

Hadzhipetkova told Harmonie “you’re not allowed to sing church songs outside of church grounds” unless she had been “authorised by the church to do this kind of song”.


During a conversation lasting longer than 40 minutes, the volunteer officer threatened to take away the singer’s keyboard and equipment if she did not stop singing.

Harmonie insisted she had a right to be there, and that she was breaking no laws, but the officer’s persistence meant she eventually felt she had no option but to move on.

In a video circulated on social media which has already been watched more than 950,000 times, Hadzhipetkova was warned her stance was an attempt to restrict the singer’s freedom of religion.

However, she refused to comment, instead choosing to stick her tongue out at the camera.

‘Humiliating and intimidating’

Harmonie told the Daily Mail: “I just felt very upset by the situation. It was quite humiliating. I felt downcast and sad. Even when I packed up she stood there saying, ‘are you going?’

I felt like my human rights didn’t matter

“She didn’t even want me to stand on the pavement. She was bullying me. She was kind of laughing, kind of like ‘Hey, I’m in this powerful position’. It was very intimidating.

“I’m 20, I’m a quiet person. Although I sing, I don’t really like attention and that’s not the sort of attention I seek. I felt very humiliated and small. I felt like my human rights didn’t matter, especially when she was saying that ‘you can’t sing church music’.”


A spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police apologised for the error, saying: “The officer was mistaken in saying church songs cannot be sung outside of church grounds. We’re sorry for the offence caused and will take the learning forward.”

They added: “Unlicensed busking is an ongoing issue in Westminster and during the interaction, the officer and her colleagues explained the busking legislation a number of times.”

The volunteer officer is being investigated by Scotland Yard over the incident.

Harmonie has now returned to Oxford Street following the incident and is continuing to share the Gospel through her music with passers-by.

Street evangelists wishing to receive more information on the CI’s planned Charter, as well as invitations to free training events, should email

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