The Christian street preacher who was arrested for expressing his religious belief about homosexuality is to take legal action over the incident.
EXCLUSIVE: Arrest caught on camera
Dale Mcalpine, who made no mention of homosexuality during his public sermon, was arrested last month after he described homosexual conduct as a “sin” during a conversation with two Police Community Support Officers.
Mr Mcalpine has now revealed that he intends to bring a civil action against both the arresting officer and the Chief Constable of Cumbria Police.
He said: “As a Christian man, I forgive the police for their actions. However, I also want to protect others who may face similar problems in the future.
“This can’t just be brushed under the carpet, freedom of speech is too precious for that.”
Mr Mcalpine is suing for unlawful arrest, false imprisonment and unlawful interference with his right to freedom of expression and freedom of religion.
The Christian Institute, which acts to defend religious liberty for Christians, is supporting Mr Mcalpine and financing his legal action.
Mike Judge, Head of Communications at The Christian Institute, said: “Mr Mcalpine’s arrest was extraordinary, but sadly not unique. Similar incidents have happened in Bournemouth, Cardiff, Oxford, and Glasgow.
“There is clearly a problem in the system and the public order law needs to be reviewed and amended. In Britain, we don’t arrest people for expressing their beliefs. Or at least, I thought not.”
Earlier this month it was revealed that crown prosecutors had decided to drop the case against Mr Mcalpine after reviewing the evidence.
The controversial arrest was denounced by the media, secularists and a homosexual campaigner.
Peter Tatchell, a prominent figure in the homosexual ‘rights’ movement, said that people should not be arrested for expressing their views in a “non-threatening and non-aggressive manner.”
He added: “Causing offence to others is not a legitimate basis for putting a person on trial. Nearly everyone holds opinions that someone else might find offensive.
“If offending others is accepted as a basis for prosecution, most of the population of the UK would end up in court.”
Mr Tatchell also urged Theresa May, the Home Secretary, to curb politically correct authorities by issuing guidance that would prevent similar arrests in the future.
His concerns were echoed by Terry Sanderson, president of the National Secular Society, who said: “This was a ridiculously over-the-top reaction to someone exercising their right to freedom of speech. Mr Mcalpine has as much right to criticise homosexuals as I should have to call him a crank.”
And Melanie Phillips, writing in the Daily Mail, warned: “It would appear that Christianity, the normative faith of this country on which its morality, values and civilisation are based, is effectively being turned into a crime.”