Darren Brady from Dublin was arrested after reposting a photograph depicting a swastika made from LGBTQ+ Pride flags
Darren Brady (51) who was born and bred in Dublin was detained after he reposted a photograph depicting a swastika made out of LGBTQ+ Pride flags.
In the video, he asks officers: “Why am I in cuffs?” to which one replies: “It didn’t have to come to this at all.”
Brady then responds: “Tell us why you escalated it to this level, because I don’t understand.”
To which the officer adds: “Someone has been caused anxiety based on your social media post. This is why you have been arrested.”
PCC Donna Jones, Crime Commissioner for Hampshire criticised her own force as she said she was concerned about the “proportionality and necessity” of their response.
“I am aware of the video published on Twitter which shows the arrest of two men in Hampshire, one for malicious communications and one for obstruction of a police officer.”
“I have taken this issue up with the constabulary today and have been advised officers made the arrests following a complaint from a member of the public of an alleged hate crime,” she continued.
“When incidents on social media receive not one but two visits from police officers, but burglaries and non-domestic break-ins don’t always get a police response, something is wrong.
“As police commissioner, I am committed to ensuring Hampshire Constabulary serves the public as the majority of people would expect. It appears on this occasion this has not happened.
“This incident has highlighted a really topical issue which Hampshire Constabulary and other police forces need to learn from,” Jones said.
“In order to support this I will be writing to the College of Policing to make them aware of this incident and encourage greater clarification on the guidance in order to ensure that police forces can respond more appropriately in the future.”
In a statement, a spokesperson for Hampshire Constabulary said: “Officers were making inquiries following a report that an offensive image had been shared online.
“They were investigating an alleged offence under Section 127 of the Communications Act (2003). As such, they attended an address in Aldershot in order to establish the exact circumstances around the social media post.”
“Following discussions, officers agreed to return to the address on July 28,” they continued.
“When officers arrived they were prevented from entering the address to discuss a potential resolution to the matter.
“As a result, officers felt it was necessary to arrest a man at the scene so they could interview him in relation to the alleged offence.”
Police added that the man arrested, Darren Brady was released and no further action is set to be taken.
“It is important to say that our officers come to work every day to protect the public. They were acting in good faith after being deployed to investigate the report of an offensive image being shared online.”
“Policing reports in relation to online content is a complex and challenging picture,” they continued.
“We are engaging further with our police and crime commissioner to make sure that we deploy our resources in a way that reflects need in our local communities.”
At the time of Brady’s arrest, a second man was also detained on suspicion of obstructing/resisting a constable in the execution of duty.
It came after the man tried to prevent Brady from being arrested.
“He was released under investigation, and our inquiries are ongoing,” the police spokesperson added.