A member of Her Majesty’s police service visited

A letter to the Guardian

Your offer of commemorative badges in support of journalistic freedomhighlighting “Je suis Charlie”, prompts me to suggest a degree of caution following my experience. Tongue in cheek, I asked my helpful newsagents to obtain a copy of the edition of Charlie Hebdo issued after the dreadful massacre in Paris, if indeed a copy was ever available in north Wiltshire. To my surprise, a copy arrived last Wednesday week and although the standard of content in no way matches that of the Guardian I will cherish it. However, two days later a member of Her Majesty’s police service visited said newsagent, requesting the names of the four customers who had purchased Charlie Hebdo. So beware, your badges may attract police interest in your customers.
Anne Keat
Corsham, Wiltshire

The names. Since when do newsagents even take the names of people who buy newspapers or magazines from them? But much more to the point…wtf? Why did they ask?

They’ve apparently apologized now, but I still don’t know why they asked.


  1. sonofrojblake says

    A closer reading of this story explains it reasonably well – it was one guy. And from the sounds of things, when they got wind of what he’d done, his bosses brought him in for what was probably a pretty uncomfortable “wtf?” session. Literally one dude. Sensationalist headline “POLICE TAKE NAMES”. Truth – “Police officer (singular) takes names”. I’d agree that the headline is cause for concern. The facts, no so much.

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