The Magistrate's Blog (2005-2012)

This blog has migrated to www.magistratesblog.blogspot.co.uk This blog is anonymous, and Bystander's views are his and his alone. Where his views differ from the letter of the law, he will enforce the letter of the law because that is what he has sworn to do. If you think that you can identify a particular case from one of the posts you are wrong. Enough facts are changed to preserve the truth of the tale but to disguise its exact source.

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Location: Near London, United Kingdom

The blog is written by a retired JP, with over 30 years' experience on the Bench.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Section 5 Again - Sticks And Stones

The eminently sensible Mr. Justice Bean has ruled on the vexed question of whether a police officer is likely to be caused 'harassment alarm and distress' by hearing the word 'fuck'. I have been on drinking terms with police officers for a very long time, and I have never yet had to call for smelling salts to revive one who suffered a fit of the vapours upon hearing the now ubiquitous f-word.
I am not disputing that it is rude and horrid to use that word; I myself only use it in extreme circumstances, such as stubbing my toe or hearing the price of a double gin and tonic in a Thames Valley pub, and even then I try to keep it sotto voce. But really - if a copper is such a delicate flower that he comes over all unnecessary at a bit of Gordon Ramsay profanity, isn't he in the wrong job?
His Lordship properly looked at the wording of Section 5 of the Public Order Act and applied common sense. For what it's worth, I think that M'Lud got it spot on.