Officers will keep smiling during their long summer shifts – why not give them a smile back.
— Metropolitan Police (@metpoliceuk) August 9, 2012
Mark Worsfold, 54, a former soldier and martial arts instructor, was arrested on 28 July for a breach of the peace shortly before the cyclists arrived in Redhouse Park, Leatherhead, where he had sat down on a wall to watch the race. Officers from Surrey police restrained and handcuffed him and took him to Reigate police station, saying his behaviour had “caused concern”.
“The man was positioned close to a small group of protesters and based on his manner, his state of dress and his proximity to the course, officers made an arrest to prevent a possible breach of the peace,” Surrey police said in a statement.
Worsfold, whose experience was first reported by Private Eye, claims police questioned him about his demeanour and why he had not been seen to be visibly enjoying the event. Worsfold, who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2010, suffers from muscle rigidity that affects his face. He was released after two hours without charge or caution.
Yeah, that’s right.
He was arrested because he wasn’t visibly enjoying himself.
“Smile, damn you! Smile! I want to see happy faces!”
Funny, it doesn’t actually say that on the five guidelines for spectators.
If you haven’t signed the Critical Mass petition, please do so:
On Friday 27th July, 182 cyclists were held in a police kettle for two hours, handcuffed in buses for three hours, and held in a police cell from six hours to two days. These included a 13 year old boy. Police also confirmed the cyclists reports that CS gas was used during these arrests.
Out of 182 cyclists, only 3 have been charged with any offence. However, ALL have bail conditions imposed on them until September 18th 2012 restricting their freedom to move, assemble, associate and live their lives.
The arrests, which may have been illegal, included a man who had cycled over nine thousand miles to reach London for the Games, and at least one person who had bought London 2012 tickets which she could not use because of her bail conditions.
Mark Worsfield is trying to get the Surrey police to write a letter of exoneration. They say:
“There were a number of factors which led officers to make this arrest, including the fact that the race was rapidly approaching, the heightened level of security due to the high-profile nature of the event and the sheer number of spectators in attendance. These were fully explained to the individual concerned. He was given words of advice and released with no further action.”
Advice: In future, SMILE. What, you can’t because you have Parkinson’s? Stay away from public events where NOT SMILING makes you look suspicious.
Boss Smiley says: BE HAPPY.